Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I am teaching a course in my studio, ARThouse, this spring about painting in watercolor on different surfaces, other than the usual Arches 140 lb cold-press that so many watercolorists rely on. Last time we painted on gessoed illustration board, something I hadn't done in a while, and the results were very interesting. If you've never tried this, you really should! Above are some of the demonstration paintings I did for the classes.
On this surface, you end up seeing the brushstrokes made when applying the gesso. It has an interesting effect--almost like an oil painting that is actually a watercolor. But it depends on how you apply the gesso. Here is how I did it:
I took a sheet of 4-ply Strathmore 500 illustration board (acid-free) and cut it up into the desired size (the mug is on a 6x6 inch sheet, while the painting "Beach Boys" is on a 12x19" sheet. Then I taped the edges with 1" drafting tape to get a clean edge at the end. I then applied acrylic gesso with a 1" flat brush, using about 1 Tbsp for every 6 sq inches of board. I applied it evenly and then created interesting brush marks in the wet gesso, similar to one of those old-fashioned plastered ceilings. I let this dry for several hours.
When you paint on this surface, it is kind of weird. The watercolor beads up at first and just lies on the top. The great thing is that it is almost completely removable when dry. So this surface is extremely "re-workable". My painting style relies a lot on selective removal or paint, so I love this attribute. Try it--you'll like it!
Posted by Susan Avis Murphy, AWS at Tuesday, March 16, 2010