Drawing in my art journal
So glad I found time to paint some sand dollars outside tonight after dinner for World Watercolor Month! And then, yes – I even painted the sand dollar itself with watercolor.
Stages of painting shells, one of my favorite “subjects.” These are shells I was in process of painting for a new textile design. My personal aesthetic motto is “Light and Bright.” If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I sometimes also do “Heavy-handed and Dark.” That goes against my personal artistic preferences but I do it because it’s good to experiment outside of my comfort zone – I find there are discoveries to make in that territory … just like shells to find on a beach.
This was fun to do. The technique using wax resist in watercolor is similar in concept to batiking. The wax resists the paint and lets the paper show through. The wax is not removed from the paper, but left on in the finished work. Here, I went back to one of my favorite motifs – the scallop seashell – and outlined a random patten in the shape of the shell on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper using a wax candle. Next step was to lay down a wash of blues, let that dry, and proceeded to layer wash upon wash – adding texture with Kosher salt sprinkled onto wet paint, left to dry, then scraped off. The finishing touch was a few white gouache highlights where I felt was needed. This will look nice in our beach house. (For another interesting affect for watercolor, check out this batik method using rice paper.)
For this practice piece, I taped off the quadrants per my WordPress friend Graham’s suggestion on my last set of vignettes. While this was drying by the window my dog pounced on it and left a claw mark in one of the quadrants (upper left). I loved doing this so much, I plan to do it again. It’s very cool to see how it comes out differently each time – even though it’s the same shell.