Saturday, March 21, 2009
Pouring in progress
Today a snowstorm was in progress. I dislike late spring snowstorms as they tend to hold more moisture and have more snow associated with them. This one has hung around all day and is now turning to rain. Nasty, messy.
However, being confined to the house provides me with an opportunity to play around with some new techniques. I had done a study for barbed wire previously and decided it could make a good subject for a watercolour pour.
Don't do this at home kids. At least not the full sized sheet. My studio is now multicoloured and so am I. I have learned that full sized sheets means outdoors in warmer weather or in a bathtub! Water and colour tend to go everywhere despite precautions of plastic and paper towels. (Aren't they pretty now?)
However, despite the drawbacks of mess the process was fun. I used a full size sheet of Arches watercolour paper that I taped to a large drawing board then sprayed it gently. I drew the outline of the string of barbed wire, then blocked it in with masking fluid. I find that stuff very toxic and it made my eyes uncomfortable for about 30 minutes after using it.
I mixed a cup for each of three primary colours and used acrylic ink, diluted with water. Once the paper held just a sheen, I then started pouring going from light to dark. I tipped the drawing board to let the ink flow and run back into its cup (or that was the plan). It simply ran onto the floor and the plastic and me instead with about three drops into the cup.
Of course I was impatient and didn't wait long enough between layers so its a bit muddy in places. I wanted the impression of a soft focus field behind the barbed wire so added more red. I then sprinkled some sea salt over the wet ink for a mottled effect.
Once the layers dried and I brushed off the loose salt, I rubbed off the layer of masking fluid to reveal the wire again. It looks so start against the coloured background now and I have to decide next steps
I could mask off a lot of the background and do another pour on to the barbed wire or I could simply use watercolours to create the wire and not disturb the background. This is where I need some advice from the experts out there. Whch is the best way to go from here?
I will add more layers of colour to the background to brighten it as it got a little too mixed in the first enthusiastic round of colour throwing. I should have started with a smaller piece initially to try this and will do another later to try for a better background. The snow made me do it!