Thursday, December 8, 2011

Watercolor 101 - How to keep white areas white while using watercolor

All around me is white, the once shimmering lake now looks like a snowed in field. The sky once blue now white. Even the birch trees show off their stark white bark. All day I stare at white, except for that magical moment just after five, when the sun bids goodnight and the sky explodes with colour!

The moment goes fast and I'm usually occupied feeding hungry mouths but the colours seem to burn into my retina. This week I played around with those colours - letting my ladies dive into winter sunsets.
source - free wallpaper


If you are new to watercolor like I am, you will soon realize that is all about the WHITE. Unlike oil paints where one can fix mistakes over and over, watercolor is way more picky, but oh so clean and refreshing. I started looking at my paintings and realized the ones with more white are so much prettier, so I searched for ways to keep the white intact while painting. Here is what I found

#1 White border - forget gum tape , can't figure it out for the life of me - but masking tape works amazing - leaving a fresh white border

#2 Geometrical shapes - yet again masking tape in random shapes and patterns gives your painting a modern look

#3 Gouache - this is like paint, you can paint any shape and let it dry. Then cover your paintings with watercolours. Once that is dry simply rub off the gouache to reveal crisp white!

Discovering white can be so much fun. Perhaps you know of more techniques - feel free to leave it in the comments or link to your sight. This way we can all learn together.


Jenny said...

Love your diving ladies. Super cute and happy!

Jennifer Shelby said...

so that's how! Love your paintings!

Nancy McCarroll said...

I will look for gouache...have always used frisket but this may be easier

Thanks for posting with IA!

Diane said...

Very nice!

poppylocke said...

Beautiful! I love your graceful diving ladies and their wonderful colours!

Alice said...

gorgeous colors! your diving girls go very well with this theme :)