Monday, April 5, 2010

Working Fully Loaded

I'm talking about working with a loaded brush.
Heh. Tried working with a few in me, and I don't.
Work well, that is.
However, it occurred to me that I've been using a watercolor technique that I have never seen written down anywhere. I think this was described to me one time, so I'll pass it along.

The background in these two latest, were done with fully loaded dabs of saturated color, laid wet-on-wet into the background, with a liberal amount of masking fluid to hold out the highlights.

Problem: how do you put a solid saturated area of spot color in an area of wet wash, that is bright and dense, but blends into the rest of the wash without dry edges?
It takes a little preparation, and timing.
Preparation: Mix up a really saturated load of the spot color first; Do the background wash; Clean and squeeze our your spot color brush and pick up a full brushload of spot color; lay the side of the saturated brush against a tissue, or sponge and watch as water is sucked out of the brush, just until the water is pulled down to the bristles. You are letting the tissue pull water out of the brush, while the bristles hold back the color. Keep track of this upper side, which holds the most amount of color
Timing: this could go quick, so keep an eye on your area wash; watch as the area wash dries from the glossiness of full saturation just to the start of the dull-damp stage; apply your spot color now.
I live in the desert, so the window of the dull-damp stage closes quickly, but I usually have time for a few loaded brush strokes. I've used a very fine mister to extend this time a bit.
I think opaque watercolors probably work better than tints for this technique, since grains of pigment are held back more efficiently than dyes.

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