Friday, June 20, 2014

Pouring Watercolor Paint

The beautiful patterns and colors of traditional Batik have been calling my name lately.  I wanted to get the materials and supplies and get going on it this summer, but haven't had the time or money to take on a new medium.  The whole idea of using layers of color over some kind of resist has been playing in the back of my mind for weeks.

Last week I was reading this month's issue of Watercolor Artist Magazine and came upon an article by Amy Dean McKittrick entitled, "Let it Flow."  In the article she gives the steps for pouring watercolor paints onto paper and letting them blend and flow together to create luminous colors.  She uses a resist, or mask to keep certain parts of the painting lighter in value as the poured layers build up.  
It looked a lot like batik!

I was intrigued and did some more research on Youtube and decided I'd better give it a go.  Well, I did and had a marvelous time.  I think I've headed in a whole new direction with my work as I am pretty excited to explore this concept further.  Here are two results:

Two pours in and masking after each pour
Next to last pour dry and ready for one more layer of mask.  At this point, I used a brush to darken the shirts and pants of the figures, but not in a traditional way.  Wetting the areas, I dropped blue and burnt sienna off of the end of the brush into the wet areas and let them flow together.  I love the way the colors flowed and mixed.

To finish the piece, I held a piece of scrap paper over the figures and splattered dark paint over the lower half of the painting.

I didn't want very bright color for this piece, but used pure colors for the first pour or two to establish the light areas

I began to muddy the colors to express the quietness of a forest floor, adding more mask each time.

The finished piece.  I feel like this has a real batik feel to it.  I don't love it as much as the one above, but I am thinking in a new way about the process of painting, and seeing light and dark areas differently, too.  Fun, fun, fun!  

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