I just spend a fabulous week painting on Brier Island, Nova Scotia where the Bay of Fundy meets the Atlantic Ocean. I went there with other artists and you can read more about it here.
I want to show you another way of working with acrylic and watercolour sticks.
During the trip I noticed one of the other artists creating beautiful little watercolors with her watercolor sticks. Another artist was using a underpainting in a complementary color to the main color of her painting. I have used both of those methods/materials but it got me thinking; what if I used my watercolor sticks as the underpainting and chose colors that would be complimentary to the local paint color? In other words, what if I used a red crayon underneath where I would be painting a green tree and allowed some of that red to show through?
I had some Derwent watercolor artbars. I love their triangular shape because it’s possible to mark the canvas with broad strokes.
I drew my back ground using the complementary colors. This was a good exercise in reading the landscape as a series of shapes — although I must admit I deviated from the plan a little when it came time to painting.
In order to ‘fix’ my drawing and to prevent it from dissolving into the paints, I brushed matte medium over the watercolor crayon and something very exciting happened. The medium dissolved and activated the crayon drawing making it blurry but also making the color of it spread into intense colour.
After the medium dried, I added more medium to the surface and then painted using my fluid acrylics. This is so that I can scratch into it and reveal the crayon colour underneath.
I’m looking forward to developing new work using this method. And it just goes to show you the benefit from working with other artists and from having a good chunk of uninterrupted painting time.