Friday, December 23, 2011


The book by Ewa Karpinska that I have called Wet-on-Wet Watercolour, has 20 step-by-step paintings you can try, to hone your wet-in-wet technique along the way.  Her work is just gorgeous - so flowing and rich and wild, as if it were done effortlessly (which is how wet-in-wet should look if you don't overwork it).

<--- Here (from the book) is a step-bystep she shares of a painting of cherries on a table, the table just hinted at and the cloth flowing and very artistic. 

I have begun this one.  The first one I did of the apples on the table I could NEVER get right when it came to the apples.  I think the problem was I was drawing the apples too small.  You really need to have some room when doing wet-in-wet and letting the pigment and water flow so small things are best done in a more controlled way - just my opinion and from my experience.

As you can see with this start, I got impatient and began on the tablecloth before the cherries were dry enough (impatience is the thing that holds me back from painting this way and I KNOW how to do it, I just don't wait...bad Rhonda!!!).

Anyway, I don't mind that that red bleeding at the edge - it can be cleaned up (or I hope it can, anyway).  Not too much more to do on this - the leaves, more shaping of the table and then letting it be :)  The eloquence of wet-in-wet is that just a bit of work creates something truly beautiful - if you know when to put that brush down and let it be :)

I know many bloggers are taking time off now for the holidays and I wish you all a wonderful Christmas.  Here's to Christmas pudding, cakes and cookies, eggnog and spumoni ice cream, and many small overindulgences on these few days, especially when it comes to laughter, smiles, hugs, and happiness!


Judy said...

Rhonda, it looks great! I am also working with the same book, trying to achieve the combination of soft and hard edges.... sigh, difficult isn't it! I wish you Merry Christmas and a good painting year!

irinapictures said...

I always thought that they do these "miracle" paintings by first painting wet colours and then adding sharp lines. Looks like they do the contrary. Thank you, I always learn something new here. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Yes, watercolor does teach patience... took me years and sometimes I actually give into it :) Have a very Merry Christmas, Rhonda!

RH Carpenter said...

Judy, from following your blog, I think you already have this technique down pat but perhaps you can take it even further! I'm afraid I'm just doing baby steps and I so want to paint this way - loose, free, open, letting the pigment and water work FOR me :) I hope 2012 is a wonderful year for you and full of explorations and new knowledge.

Irina, in this one she begins on paper that has been presoaked and then allowed to dry and then goes back to the wet-in-wet with the tablecloth draping around. Sometimes it's the other way around, so I think it's a matter of just knowing when to go in with more pigment on drier paper to get crisper edges - it can't all be blurred and soft, I guess. Have a wonderful holiday and hope 2012 brings you many great joys.

Pam, watercolor is all about patience - why didn't I start with oils? ha ha But I wouldn't change it - I love watercolor more than any other medium and I'll give it years to try to better myself. Have a wonderful Christmas and a very successful and fun New Year.

Theresa Evans said...

This is beautiful ... You are so right about knowing when to stop!

Have a wonderful christmas period and all the best for 2012 xx

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks so much, Teresa :) It is definitely a learning curve with wet-in-wet to get it right :) Of course, I think a lot of good painting has to do with not becoming so attached to the outcome that we are afraid to change things or things become too precious and we can't see what needs work - or we can't see when it's just right and want to add just a little more :) I'm hoping 2012 brings me more of what it takes to get it just right!

irinapictures said...

Rhonda, thank you. It reminded me also of this topic in Wetcanvas
Now I have to figure out how to turn theory into practice)))