History in the Making

History in the Making

Make It Monday- Watercolour Painting

This first weekend, I tried something a little different- I’ve done three different Paint Nites now. I’ve enjoyed all of them and I would recommend it to anyone no matter what your level of experience is. I personally love painting, both in acrylic and watercolour mediums, and I inherited that from my grandfather. He is the talented artist in the family, and I always love getting advice from him. One of his Christmas gifts to me was a painting workshop with a local artists, and this past weekend it finally happened! I learned so much as a painter, and I could not have had a better Saturday. I’m going to share some of what I learned this weekend…
Watercolour is a favourite medium of mine. It’s not overly precise and you have to move very quickly, something that a lot of artists dislike. However, I like that it forces me to keep moving! I can’t keep fidgeting and changing things, I have to take a step back and let go. You can either use it in a tube, pressed into a pan, or as a watercolour pencil.
This workshop was with pressed paints that were professional grade. *cue swoon* It means that it is hyper pigmented compared to the regular version. As Sylvia (the artist) reminded us, watercolour dries 20% lighter- using professional grade paints allows for a far more vibrant and intense painting. It was perfect, as we were doing a workshop of an old duck pond at a local park here! We did a smaller and a larger version, to allow us a smaller canvas to practice the techniques on first.
To achieve that lacy look of the trees, we used rubber masque. It’s liquid rubber that we sprayed on using a toothbrush, a very unique method that I have to say took a while to get used to. You have to spray a lot more on than I originally thought, and it takes quite bit of pressure. Once it’s applied, it needs to dry completely! After that, we used a splatter technique with the yellow paint to apply the base layer of leaves. Drying my painting via hairdryer for the yellow layer was interesting- it created the yellow splatters on the larger version that are slowly growing on me. The green layers were done in the same splatter technique (tapping your brush against your finger) but without drying between each layer.
The other technique that we worked with was integrating gum Arabic into your painting. It is what gives the pond water that fluid and flowing look; it stops your paint from drying immediately and gives it more of a sheen than regular watercolour. You can mix the gum Arabic (a fluid) into the water that you mix your paints with, or directly into your paints. I water washed the paper with the gum Arabic to keep it fluid everywhere. I loved using it and I want to work more with it! It gave such a different texture and fluidity that isn’t always found in watercolour, and it allows you a little more time to work with your paints before it dries.
Even thought these aren’t perfect, I’m still pretty proud of these! I learned so much in five short hours, and I’m hoping to take another workshop with her.
What’s your favourite hobby that other’s might not know about? 
Until tomorrow,
The Historian!

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