As I gradually learn about watercolor, I keep coming across this idea : USE MORE WATER!!
(and use more pigment if you don’t want that your painting seems weak and diluted).
It was already actually one of my “10 tips for nice and fresh watercolors”. 😊
So, I keep working on it and I keep figuring out that I can do even more in this direction!! Yeah, even MORE water!!
The reason why water is so important, for watercolor, is because water make the pigment float, move and react… 😉
Like so, your use of water determines how the paint is going to set on the page, whatever your taste is.
You like smooth regular washes? Create a carpet of water where the pigment will be able to set regularly!
You like crazy watery effects, melting colors and granulation, like me? Make the watercolor run on the page to create fascinating patterns! Don’t create a lake, for a change, but a river for your colors!! 😀
You can even envision to disturb your wash at the right time to play even more with our fascinating medium. 😝
Let me tell you my watery experiences of these past few days. 😊
I am not sure how it happened in my head… The same day, I ended up buying Jean Haines new book “Paint yourself calm” (I already owned one of her previous book, “Atmospheric watercolours”) and I created these two dripping watercolor sketches, during my sketching walk. 😀
The path was full of incredibly tall foxgloves. Jean Haines often paints them and use this sort of dripping style so it was almost natural for me to start painting in a loose way, letting the water and the paint flow on the painting.
This very short video, below, is essentially to show you the impressive foxgloves but you will be able to see, too, my sketch as a work in progress, with drips at the bottom of some washes, along with my dirty box-palette. 😅 😉
Walking back home, I was thinking that I wouldn’t want to admit this really fun technique would only be suitable for flowers and maybe landscapes… You know how I love to sketch EVERYTHING!!
Thus, I decided to try to paint a street of my little town using this dripping technique! 😛 Sometimes, I am a bit audacious!! 😝😁
If you are nor sure what it is, as it’s a bit abstract 😁, there is the church bell tower, with a warm color, at the top, and then the street, with some houses on each side. I think the dripping process is even more apparent, here.
One of the characteristic of Jean Haines technique is that she uses gravity to give a direction to her paintings.
To make the watercolor flow, your sketchbook or watercolor paper has to be at an angle, of course (don’t hold it flat but hold it more vertically).
And then, you tilt your sketch the way you want the paint to flow (tilt towards the left or the right). Slanted composition are really dynamic so that’s a nice idea to make the paint drip diagonally!
Here, I wanted the flow to follow the direction of the road and of the angle of the roofs, to the right of the sketch. I tilted my sketchbook towards the left with this purpose. 😉
Don’t you think it’s sooooo fun?!
I should show you a little demo for that, one of these days. 😝😉
The next day, I kept working with this idea of dripping sketches, in a path ending with pine trees.
Here, I essentially kept my sketchbook vertically to make the color flow following the direction of the path.
The flowing process creates lovely melting colors effets and sometimes backruns (“cauliflower effect”) like on the close-up to the right. 😀
Do you like this approach or does it seems to be too abstract for you?
I admit that I find it soothing not to worry too much about the depiction of the subject, just playing with water and colors. 😉
And I like the results too! ☺️
Would you be interested that I would take a bit more about Jean Haines book(s) and maybe other books?
I like to buy watercolor and urban sketching books to get information but above all inspiration (just browsing them to give me the urge to paint! 😜). So I have quite a few I could talk about. 😉
You tell me! 😊