There is a definite learning curve to this wet-in-wet style with lots of patience playing into it. You can't just go in and paint and watch the pigment diffuse and lighten over and over. At some point, you have to wait until the paper is more matte dry (not dry but drier than when you first put down all that water and pigment) and then sharpen some areas. And if you don't wait, you just get blurred, muddy stuff. Like this one became. A mess, really.
So...I started over, following the directions in the Ewa Karpinska book more carefully and this is the start of the new one...
I'll darken and shape this one more. I'm not crazy about that lime green background but blame myself for not thinking enough about that (I was concentrating on the leaves and rosehips). Maybe I can go in and drop some more darker and varied color in the background later?
I guess what I'd like is somewhere between the top and bottom painting - not so soft but not so hard-edged, either. Ugh! OK, keep trying...
I tried to paint a few feathers without having any feathers in front of me, either real or in a photo. It didn't work. Turns out, I was painting them upside down! Why didn't I know what a feather looked like until I drew it out and then saw what I was doing wrong? Oh, well. Those got tossed in the bin and this one survived.
Then I remembered, I have bluejay feathers collected from the ground around the feeders. (I have a family of about 7-8 bluejays that visit every day.) Took those feathers to my art room and put them on my paper, traced around them a bit and then painted while looking at them. Much better - but a bit stiffer because not done wet-in-wet. I will do some wet-in-wet later after practicing more feathers - and doing some in other colors.
Just playing, pouring, tilting, moving and pigment around and letting it dry. Walked away and returned to see something - a whiter shape to work up in the middle = another angel watching over us all (we can use it these days).
Wet-in-wet painting from the Ewa Karpinska book. You can try to paint it like the photo in the book, but it never turns out the same. I remember doing paintings in watercolor class where we all painted from the same reference material the teacher provided - and each painting was different. We all have our own take on things, our own style showing through, and our own choice of colors.
I'm not unhappy with this; it just doesn't look like her painting. Of course, she's a master at wet-in-wet painting.
The last few wet-in-wet paintings have all been takes on her paintings in the book and none of them look like the painting in the book :)
Looks like a windy day after rain.
These last few paintings are all after looking through the wet-in-wet style watercolor books (2) I have to learn how to do this and not overwork. The trick is saturation of the paper but also waiting until the paper is matte dry until adding the last, darker bits. Since patience is a key ingredient, maybe that's why I haven't mastered this style in the years that I've been painting.
Wet-in-wet using my least favorite colors (green), but not too bad. Working with a book of techniques by Ewa Karpinska (she is fabulous at wet-in-wet style and very saturated paintings but still amazing).
Although the wet-in-wet style of watercolor painting is my favorite style, I often don't do this naturally. So I have to remind myself - and do a bit of practicing - to get into the wet-in-wet groove.
So...taking out a book I've had for a while (by Ewa Karpinska) and a new one I purchased recently (by Jean-Louis Morelle) to play and test the waters (no pun intended!!). There are some step-by-step works in both of these you can try and I recommend both if you really want to delve into this style of painting. But be warned that the book by Morelle is 1/4 part about color theory. You can skip it, if that's not of interest to you, and get right to the demos and talk about water, paint and paper.
Wet-in-wet technique, landscape with water and soft trees.
Copy of Ewa Karpinska painting in her book (she only has one in English) about the wet-in-wet style she uses. Very saturated and soft.
Just playing with some wet-in-wet watercolor painting.
Not as wet on the greenery this time.
I like it more since I pushed back the background a bit.
Fabriano Artistico 140# cold press
Cotton Candy Magnolia
Named it the cotton candy magnolia because that's what it looks like to me right now. I'll change that as I continue to work on it.
Half sheet, Fabriano Artistico 140# cold press (has a bit of a tooth to it as you can see where the cerulean blue separated in the background).
Better, but still going to push that background back a bit using a glaze of cobalt blue.
Egret in the Marsh
Half sheet Fabriano Artistico 140# coldpress watercolor paper, Daniel Smith paints.
I started with a half sheet Arches 140# coldpress, drew the egret towards the middle and then put down some faint lines to represent the sections of the background stuff and water.
There is more to come as I try to keep the egret white until the end, when I'll warm her up a bit.