Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sky Wash 7

Sky Wash 7
(Geoff Kersey's Winter Barn)
Watercolour on Paper
25.5cm x 16.5cm (10" x 6.5")

Geoff Kersey is a master of the wet in to wet background. He uses the technique to create soft background shapes with colours that gently blend into each other. It is particularly effective for distant trees.

This is my version of the Winter Barn from his programme on the Painting and Drawing Channel.

Geoff wet the paper down to the barn and the horizon line. He painted the sky using the side of a large brush. He used angled strokes and made the sky darker towards the top and lighter towards the horizon to give a feeling of perspective.

While the sky was still wet, he applied a dark brown mix to create the soft edged shapes of the background trees. He spiced this up with a few warmer orangey brown patches and then finished by adding the fir trees and dark green bushes to the left of the barn. He did all this before the sky had time to dry.

Previously, I have had problems with this type of background. I have tended to add the trees while the sky is still too wet. The result is the paint spreads wildly and creates shapes that look more like horrible clouds than trees.

This time I was more careful and paid attention to Geoff’s advice. The crucial moment to add the trees is just as the shine starts to leave the wet paper. When you look for this, it is quite easy to spot. The other important factor is the paint you are adding has to be less watery than the paint already on the paper. This gives the desired effect - soft edged trees that don't crawl off the paper.

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