Thursday, August 25, 2016

Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers, Part 2

Of course this week has been full, leaving me little time for playing around but I finally got a window of time and started experimenting with the new Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers last night.  Hopefully what I've documented will make sense, but it's been a long sort of day so who knows what'll come out of my tired, old fingers?!  

It's been ages since I worked on an agave, so I figured it would be a fun subject for my experimentation. This is a 16" x 12" Arches 140 lb. watercolor block.
The first color drawn in with Phthalo Blue and Cadmium Yellow

The resulting wash from the mixture above.  Pretty intense color going on here...

This is where things got frustrating.  With traditional watercolors on good rag paper I would be able to begin to lay in color before the last area was completely dry without the two areas running together.  These are pure pigment and don't act in the familiar way.  They began to run together making the hoped-for crisp line between the two shapes blur.   

The blurry area enlarged.  After it had dried completely I was able to go back in and fix it.  Big lesson, these pigments don't act like traditional watercolor, don't expect them to.  Water-soluble doesn't always mean watercolor paint.

The central leaf shape of this piece.  This is how it looked as I put the color down with the markers.

As you can see, it is possible to get lighter passages, but it's not automatic.  Of course, I didn't leave it this way.  I eventually fiddled with it till I over-worked it.  

Run backs are very easy to get if you begin next to a not quite dry passage. Could be a cool effect, just not at this place. However, it was easy to fix.  The colors lift and blend very easily, more so than traditional paints. 

The central leaf, acid green and eye popping instead of eye-catching.  

From bottom to top, Dioxazine Violet, Phthalo Blue, Sap Green and Cadmium Yellow; ready for water.

The colors blend very well and the marks made by the pen tips disappear on this particular paper.  If you want more blending, they reactivate quickly if you re-wet and go over again.

Where I stopped today.

All things considered, these markers are not a watercolor paint replacement, nor are they easier to use.  They are a law unto themselves and take some getting used to.  The colors are anything but subtle, but they can be toned down with less pigment and more water and can be pulled across the paper quite far before they run out of color.  If you like intense color, these are the tool for you.  If not, get less saturated hues and use lots of water.  They are fun, convenient and very fluid.  I'm beginning to enjoy using them, which is a relief because by bedtime last night I was ready to pay someone to take them off my hands.  Worth the money?  Not sure yet, but keeping an open mind.  Could a watercolor studio survive without them?  Yes, but new techniques and tools can keep one learning and growing, so they get an A+ for that.  I'll post the finished product and final thoughts after it's done.  In the meantime....

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

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