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When you try watercolor mediums and play with water, you will find
- how you like to paint
- the best method to paint your particular subject
- and you will have a lot of fun
Examples using Watercolor Mediums and Water
Look at these four examples. Decide if there is one you want to try.
I drew four copies of an orange torch tithonium flower for this exercise
I also messed up for you to learn from.
Example #1: Apply the right value and color in “one go”
The best way to get bright clean watercolors is to apply the paint in one brushstroke and let it dry. The color mixes for the oranges are: Permanent Rose plus Cadmium Orange yellow, Pyrrole Orange, Cadmium Orange Yellow plus Cadmium Lemon in varying amounts. Full color found here.
Example #2: Try Watercolor Mediums and Glazing (Multiple Paint Layers)
A. Gum Arabic
I tested Gum Arabic applied as fine dots with a small stick in the areas of the flower center that I want to stay light or closed to white. Gum Arabic has the advantage over masking fluid because it doesn’t result in the harsh hard edges of masking fluid. Here is more information about watercolor mediums.
And here is a great tutorial video explaining the difference
Many artists suggest that multiple paint layers create the most glowing color. However, this is not the case. An excellent reference for watercolors carefully measured layers of dilutions of paint dilutions and compared this to an equal total amount of paint applied in a single application. In fact, paint glazed in several thin layers is not darker, richer or more saturated than a single layer of the same paint applied at the optimal consistency
However, paint applied in several layers tends to be flatter. Therefore, the finished appearance of this style of painting is more uniform. This is because the minor imperfections of paint streaking or brush marks left in one layer are disguised by the other layers. It is also easier to paint perfectly controlled color gradations in this way, since imperfections in the value transition from light to dark can be evened out nicely.
Example 2 begins with a underpainting of yellow, alizarin in the shadowed areas, permanent rose mixed with Holbein cad yellow orange in the true orange areas. Then layers of these color mixes are added to the final desired values.
Example #4: Free Flowing Water
In this example, the same colors are started at the flower center. But then, these colors are flooded with water and the paper is tilted to allow free flowing drips.
In addition, blossoms form as the the differences in water and pigment concentrations attempt to reach equilibrium (see further information here). This painting style is lots of fun because it is unpredictable.
Example #3: Try Watercolor Mediums: Playing with Ox Gall and Gum Arabic
How Ox Gall Works
Ox Gall increases watercolor flow, prolongs drying time and promotes bleed backs and blossoms.
How Gum Arabic Works
The difficulty in watercolors is the fussing that most of us feel compelled to do. Repeatedly Brushing the wet paint on wet paper repeatedly is often irresistible in watercolors
- to smooth out irregularities in the paint texture,
- wash out blossoms or backruns,
- to adjust a color that has gone wrong,
- to darken a color that dries too light.
But repeated brushing of wet paper disturbs the cellulose fibers at the paper surface, which dulls the color.
In addition, if the paper is still damp or wet when rebrushed or repainted, the surface sizing and some of the internal sizing is still dissolved. This increases the capillary action that pulls pigment particles deeper into the paper crevices which also dulls the color.
Work to apply the paint in one brushstroke and let it dry.