Sunday, 6 April 2014

New Skies

Sky Wash 11 (Late Afternoon on the Garrison, St Mary's)
Watermedia and Oil Pastel on Paper
28cm x 18cm (11" x 7")

Back in 2012, I did a number of exercises to practice painting skies. See:

The skies on this post are a couple of recent experiments I painted as warm up exercises.

Both skies started off in the same way. I painted the main area of blue on to dry paper and then painted the rest of the sky around this with water – trying not to get the paper too wet.

As the blue pigment diffused, I dabbed the cloud shapes with paper towel. This can cause hard edged clouds, so to avoid this:

  • I was gentle with the paper towel – I didn’t press too hard, 
  • I always used clean paper – I didn’t dab with a piece of paper that already had paint on it
  • If a hard edge started to form, I either dabbed it again or softened it with a damp brush

For the picture of Saint Martins, I added extra shadows to the clouds after the initial wash had dried.

The main intention of both of these pictures was to experiment with using oil pastels to resist the watercolour. This is a technique Chris Forsey uses in his “Pushing The Boundaries Of Watercolour” and “Beyond Watercolour” DVDs.

Sky Wash 12 (St Martin's)
Watermedia and Oil Pastel on Paper
28cm x 18cm (11" x 7")

So far, the technique is not working for me. The oil pastel dissolves into the paint and makes a watery oily soup. I suspect I am applying too much pastel and not pressing heavily enough to push it into the paper.

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