Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tippette #17 - Pouring Paint

Tippette = Snippet of a Tip (in watercolor).  One per day...during April...right here!  Tell a friend!

Pouring Paint.

Every now and then, I pour my paint onto my paper instead of brushing it on.  I do this to avoid brush marks and to get a more interesting effect than I could otherwise get (often I apply it to a background area).  In this demonstration below, I loosely sketched a couple of petal shapes, and then I applied clear water to the area OUTSIDE of the petals.  

I put some paint and water into a container (in this case, it was the top of a plastic baby food container, which I seem to have a lot of around here lately!  If I want to do a very large pouring, I might use an old film canister, yogurt cup, etc).  I made sure my mixture was well mixed (no lumps), then I started pouring the color into the wet section on my paper.  Note:  the paint will not move into the dry area (inside the petals) at all unless you tap your paper or board on purpose and cause it to jump into the dry sections.  How handy is that!?  Try it yourself if you've never experienced that.

When I'd poured as much color as I wanted to, I started tilting my board in order to help it move some more (BTW, I usually staple my paper to my cardboard because I often like to tilt my painting or turn it around).  

I allowed a little time for the water to soak into the paper a bit (maybe 1 minute?), then I tapped other colors (blue and yellow) with a brush into my dark green (I tap the brush against the forefinger of my non-painting hand...the bigger the brush, the bigger the droplets...also the harder the tap, the bigger the droplets).  Note: if you want to be sure not to tap paint into the petal area, protect the area with pieces torn from a paper towel, newspaper or whatever's handy.

Note: On the left side, I tapped in the blue and yellow with my brush,
while on the right I painted it with a brush directly into the dark green.  If you want to brush it in, do it very gingerly or you'll move the dark green too much and ruin the effect.
I can see all kinds of applications for this technique.  While it was wet, I could have painted branches  in with a rigger or a round brush, and so on.  Are you thinking of ways you could use this tippette in your own work?  Do you already have such examples?  Would love to see them!  You can email them to (be sure to include the K in the middle of my email address or it won't come to me).  Thanks for stopping by today!

Come with Helen K. Beacham and Kelly Medford to paint Venice this October...
click HERE for details!