One things that is fascinating about this medium on this support is that you can wipe off part or all of the whole painting with a wet cloth or by putting it under the water faucet! That makes it easy for making corrections. It also makes it tricky for making corrections! Watercolor is a tricky medium to begin with - so being able to wipe out mistakes and repaint the area is a great benefit. One can rarely do that on watercolor papers. However, when one is making the new corrections, it is easy to overshoot the mark and contaminate a part that wasn't to be touched! Practice. Practice. Practice!
And varnishing the completed paintings is a MUST since the painted image can be wiped away so easily... Several coats of varnish, I'm thinking...
Here are some step-by-step photos to show you the progress of the pieces as I worked on them throughout the day. The drying time is longer on these panels that it would be on watercolor paper. The surface is far less absorbent thus takes much longer to dry. I wish I had made several other watercolor projects to work on in between these two since the drying time took so long! Next time I will know better!
These first few photos simply show the studio set-up and the laying in of the backgrounds on these two pieces. I used salt liberally on the Baby Crow and much less so in the blue area in front of the Baby Robin.
I decided that the background for Baby Crow was way too busy, too dark, too much competition with the actual bird to show up properly. So I began wiping parts of the background off with a damp paper towel. Much to my surprise, the method worked rather well, as can be seen in the next photo.
Later, I took even more of the background out - directly around the bird's head so that the bird will come forward out of the background and make an impression on the viewer.
The Baby Robin seemed almost to paint itself - perhaps after working on a different baby Robin yesterday in colored pencil prepared me to paint this one today.
With watercolor, one generally paints from light to dark, saving the lightest spots from the beginning and putting in the contrasting dark areas towards the end - just prior to adding any small details that serve to complete the image.
Finally, here are the two pieces side by side after I painted the edges to complement the artwork. The Crow needed a dark edge, but the Robin is much lighter and less dramatic, so I chose to paint the outside edges white.
Both paintings are available. Contact me if interested.
Now I want to paint in watercolor - but preferably on reliable, familiar watercolor paper!