Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Innovative Textural Background for Watercolor

I have occasionally used an innovative textural background in my watercolor paintings, which has the effect of giving them a timeless sepia-toned look.  I have used this technique primarily for portrait paintings and my construction rubble series.  In fact, I discovered the effect accidentally years ago while trying to get an interesting, clay-like background for my rubble paintings.  I would like to describe it for you here, especially for my students, who are currently using this technique.  I call it the "rivulet technique"

Here are some samples showing the "Rivulet Technique":

 This is a close-up from part of the above painting:

My students are ARThouse are currently exploring this technique.  It is tricky to do and relies upon utilizing the correct earth colors, such as raw or burnt umber.  Actually I wrote an article about the technique for "The watercolor Page" of American Artist magazine back in 1986!  For old times sake, here is the original article, click on a thumbnail, and then click the "Image From" text near the bottom to be able to zoom in to read them.