Have you mastered the watercolor wash? The plain, overall, all one color wash? I haven't. I'm trying but it's not easy. In fact it is downright hard!
After some seriously warped starts and fits, I am now doing what I know I'm supposed to do =
- catching the bead of pigment and water at the bottom of the tilted paper (which is stapled to a board)
- not going back into the wash once I get it done from top to bottom
- using a large brush and putting lots of water in the mix for the wash
- wiping back the edges of the paper so no water seeps back into the paper while it's drying
And yet I still get uneven and tacky looking washes. The first one may be okay, not bad. But then I glaze over that and I get a mess.
So...I've begun doing what Catherine Anderson does and going back into the wash (a no-no, apparently) with a brush full of clean water and brushing up and down and down and up and thinning out the pigment so it's paler and keeping things wet all over the page. That seems to be working. Also, stapling the paper to the Gatorboard helped immensely (I was just taping the paper down and it still created hills and valleys when it dried, making an even wash impossible.)
So...any tricks and tips out there to share on this? Am I using the wrong brush (it's a large, flat synthetic and it will not distribute the pigment and water all the way across the paper but dries out about halfway through, leaving unpainted areas that have to be done over)? Is the coldpress paper the best to use or should I try hotpress again (tried it once and it was really a mess!!)?
The goal is to get a good, pale wash of color, the same from top to bottom of paper, let it dry completely and then get another good, pale wash of color over that with another transparent color.
Using (1) Hansa Yellow Light and then (2) Quinacridone Rose and finally (3) Cobalt Blue. Just those three colors. Just a simple wash - yeah, right!