I found an old photo of a white horse taken during a trip to Shaker Village in Kentucky for my reference. And began the painting with the background blues and then the bridle. I like the way it separated and created some nice texture on the bridle. Using just a pale wash of raw sienna + cobalt blue for the greys in the horse for now. (The blue bled into the white at the bottom right edge - the nose should be coming outwards here, not in - will fix that).
Here is a closer look to see how the watercolor acts over the matte medium.
I will paint a bit more on this to finish it and get that eye really dark and shiny.
So far, I'm not noticing any difference in this technique than when you put white gesso over the watercolor paper and then paint in that = easy to lift and some texture on the paper and it does make the paper heavier (I used Arches hotpress 140#). Except the white gesso does leave a chalky look and this doesn't. As with all these techniques, they've all been done, I'm sure - and are just ways to make it easier to paint in watercolor because with them you can lift back to white (if you use nonstaining pigments). I don't think I could get that look to the bridle by just painting straight watercolor on plain watercolor paper, though - maybe if I used hotpress?
Back to the poured paintings in class tomorrow.