Painting is something I really admire and try my hand at every now and then. These days it’s been watercolor, specifically glazing or layering — more about that in a minute.
For me painting can be intimidating so I try to lower my expectations and just have fun, that way spontaneity can hopefully do its thing. The circles, above, were fun to paint but were also a great lesson in what not to do when glazing — more about that in an upcoming post.
I’ve got myself set up with the basics. There are some very pricey paints, papers and brushes on the market but the word on the street seems to be that — for a beginner anyway — a good old Prang oval set offers decent smooth pigments for just a few dollars. I decided to go with their 16-color set and so far it’s been perfect.
I spent a bit more on paper because when using a glazing or layering technique a thin paper will curl like crazy. So I went with Bee’s 140lb cotton paper and I’m very happy with it so far.
When I began researching watercolor techniques online, I instantly wanted to focus on glazing because to me the amazing beauty of watercolor is its wateriness! Glazing is basically watering down the pigment to a very sheer shade, adding other sheer layers on top of one another to create subtlety and depth. When done right it is truly spectacular; here’s a quote from an artist named Birgit O’Connor who describes it way better than I can:
“Glazing is a term for layering or stacking color, for instance think of different sheets of colored glass or tissue paper one stacked on top of the other. You are able to see through the transparent layers to the ones below, glazing in watercolor is the same idea but instead using thin washes of transparent color. For the cleanest color mixing and purest glazes use only the most transparent color. The reason is these colors allow light to pass through and reflect off of the papers surface leaving beautiful jewel-like effects.”
Birgit’s site is chock full of info. I also found a lot of great tips and inspiration from Sandrine Pellisier. Her landscapes are beautiful and she was very gracious to show exactly how she achieved it.
More to come soon ~