Monday, June 20, 2011

Snowy Solitude

Snowy Solitude 12 x 12 on diagonal cradled panel
I saw this watercolor painting a couple weeks ago that was of a snowy canyon. I studied it every time I passed it. In oil it would be easy. Just splatter white paint over the painting when done. But in watercolor what is to remain white has to be decided in advance of any paint being applied. A number of methods can be used to leave an area white - masking paper, masking compound, a resist or something like soap that repels paint from an area.

The artist had to have used masking compound. And he had to have scattered it on like the oil painter but first. If I were to spatter white oil paint I would use a tooth brush and run my thumb down it. Generally the oil paint would be thinned but not too much.  One wouldn't want to thin the masking compound because it would not peel off the canvas easily. Time to play and experiment. And I did using some scrap panel and canvas I had about. There are control issues. The painting that had inspired me was a full sheet of watercolor paper. It could be years before I had that much control. But I decided to give it a try on a 12 x 12 panel. Now for a subject.

The back of the Ranchos de Taos church seemed perfect because it is so plain; no complex details to confuse the subject which is clearly the snow. I was really quite happy with my results but I also see it as just the beginning. Currently sketching out a high county ranch complex which is slowly melting into the land. I think it will be perfect for my next attempt at snow on a larger format.

Artists should always look at the art of others. Otherwise our world gets too confining.

1 comment:

  1. Watercolour is devilishly difficult to get right, Jacqui. However, it can give such ethereally beautiful results and can capture the essence f light if it is done well.
    Seaspray is another similar effect to what you describe with snow and some wonderful seascapes in watercolour have had the same techniques applied.


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