Friday, September 27, 2013

WHY YOU CANNOT PAINT ON BLACK PAPER WITH TRANSPARENT WATERCOLOR


I was reading a Swedish murder mystery and a person of interest in the book was an artist who painted her canvases all in black and then scraped back using sandpaper - and let whatever happen, happen.  She created very abstracted pieces that were without color - just black and the white of the canvas when she scaped down to it.  It got me thinking about painting on black paper.  So I used black gesso on watercolor paper (300# Arches).  When that dried completely, I began painting the crow the round glass ball, just seeing what the colors would do, if anything.  I used irridescent pigments, too.  I'm not crazy about it.  You have to have light hitting it just right to see it well and the crow looks mostly white.  I think gouache in colors would work okay with this - and I might wipe this off and try again with pigment mixed with white gouache since I don't have any gouache colors.  

What do you think?  It doesn't photograph well at all - the black of the paper is much darker than it's showing here and the subjects aren't this bright.  

16 comments:

hw (hallie) farber said...

This photo of the painting looks great.

debwardart said...

I think it's kinda cool - now you see it, now you don't type of paintings! Looking forward to seeing the gouache ptg. - you could also add some white gesso to the paint and see how that looks.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Hallie. It's not easy to photograph, though, but it would look cool hanging where you could stand close to it and move around it, letting the light hit certain areas.
Thanks, Deb. I think I'll stick with the gouache addition, not gesso - that would make it acrylic paint, wouldn't it? Of course, I could just paint it in acrylics, too. I will try this again just for fun.

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Rhonda - I like it...something different. I have used pastels and colored pencils on black gesso before and they work well. Thanks for sharing your painting and what you learned in this experiment. Have a great week-end.

Vandy said...

Really interesting effect on this painting, Rhonda. Thanks for sharing this technique

http://carolking.wordpress.com said...

It sounds like a very interesting idea and the photo looks great. I would have never thought of it. I would like to see what it's like with gouache. I really like the idea of the crow on the glass.

Cathy Gatland said...

You're as busy working as ever Rhonda - good to experiment, you never know when you'll discover something extraordinary. This crow looks kind of eerie and interesting to me!

CrimsonLeaves said...

I really like it Rhonda. Your drawing skills are sure highlighted in that crow too.

Studio at the Farm said...

Hi Rhonda. I like it. Sounds like a cool technique to try.
Kathryn

Katherine Thomas said...

think it's a very dramatic effect! You might be on to something with this!

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks so much, Debbie, Vandy, Carol, Cathy and Sherry!

Kathryn and Katherine, thanks - I may try it with gouache or acrylic and see what it does. I really didn't want a white crow but you can't get any other color on black unless you want an invisible crow! ha ha

Barb Sailor said...

I like this technique...its lovely. There is an Australian artist, Steve Sorrell, I think (not sure) who paints with watercolors on black paper. I am still not sure how he does it.

Caroline Simmill said...

The painting is just lovely!

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

I love the posture of the crow and the lovely details in its feathers, along with the interesting perch. I say keep playing with this technique! Perhaps mask out the bird/pedestal shape or apply white gesso to that area as a ground to paint on. Love it when you go for the gusto!

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Caroline and Pam :) Barb, thanks - see you tomorrow!!! I remember Steve now - is he still doing his gemstones on black paper? I think he painted in gouache or watercolor mixed with gouache?

Kevin Neal said...

I like it. It's always a little disappointing when you can't capture the painting in a photo. I spent a lot of time getting the photos of my darker paintings and found that natural light worked best. It cast less direct light and the colors showed through.