Uniquely Watercolor - Perspectives from The Artist's Road
Perspectives from The Artist's Road
Those watercolor painters who understand the differences between staining pigments and sedimentaries are happy painters indeed. No other paint medium we know of relies on and benefits so much from these two distinct qualities—not oils, temperas, pastels, gouaches, or encaustics. Each type of watercolor, whether stainer or sediment, behaves differently in the palette and on the paper. Sedimentaries are essentially coarser, chalkier, heavier and more opaque than stainers, which can be thought of as ink-like in their behavior, and will stain the paper to some degree. Because of that, we often lay down sedimentary washes first, followed by the more transparent stainers. Sedimentaries will also quickly “settle out” of any mix with water, and if not kept stirred as we paint, will be inconsistent from one moment to the next. Stainers are very consistent in mixes with other stainers, but will tend to separate from sediments in any mixture on the palette, and can also be made to separate some on our paper as well. This is where the real fun begins.
If we recognize that cold press and rough papers have considerable texture to them, then we can take advantage of that knowledge to create subtle visual effects with our paint mixes. When we look at a cross-section of our paper under magnification we see hills and valleys. Staining paint will flow over the paper and bite into it fairly uniformly. Sediments, however, are heavy and coarse, like gravel, and will tend to roll off the hills and settle in the valleys. What this means is that in any sediment/staining mix, the texture of the paper can cause the mixed color to separate just enough on the paper so that we can get a 3-color effect. We can see the mixed color, as well as each of the sedimentaries and stainers which made the mix! No other paint medium does this. Is this not amazing? Try it yourself and see if you can create this remarkable effect.
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Filled with inspirational examples by the masters of nightime painting, this little book is sure to fire up your creative energies. Never tried painting at night? We show you how it's done with a step-by-step-oil demo and a tale of night painting in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes is a 7 x 7" PDF download with 40 pages of text and images. It includes a gallery of paintings by masters of the nocturne, information to inspire and encourage you in your plein air nocturne painting, an illustrated step-by-step demo and tips for working in pastel and oil. Also available in a softcover edition. Check out the tools and other products that we use in our own art and travels in The Artist's Road Store. We only offer things for sale that we enthusiastically believe in.