Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Watercolor Blocks

Your style of painting should be a factor in deciding whether to purchase and paint on watercolor blocks of paper.

They are fantastic in some ways.  They are a sturdy block on which to paint.  Ten to twenty sheets of cut to size paper is pre-mounted on a sturdy backer.  Paint on the top piece of paper, slice the gum around the edges remove it and paint again.  Great for a not so wet way of painting with watercolors.

If you are one who loves to paint very wet with watercolor, a block of watercolor paper may not be a good option for you.

Painting wet into wet, over and over the water seeps down through the paper into the block, into the next sheet down and the sheet down below that one.  The gum edges begin to wear away without notice, the water will drip over the sides and seep into the edges of the watercolor paper.

The watercolor paper that is wet and dried over and over will lose it's sizing.  Your paint will not react in the normal way over the entire piece of paper.  You may end up with a mottled look around the edges, often darker than color should be.  Sometimes it can occur through out the entire piece of paper.  It mainly happens with the pieces of paper that are towards the bottom of the block.

The sample here shows a very pale blue sky wash that normally floats on the top of the paper.  The watercolor paint soaked oddly into the paper around the edges.  The majority of the time, this odd effect does not fade away when the paint dries.

To avoid this happening, I remove one sheet watercolor paper from the block and mount it onto a separate board.  Yes, it defeats the purpose of using a block.  But it is a way to use up the block you have.  Or it is a way of using the pre cut to size paper blocks with the beautiful simplicity of painting watercolors very wet into wet.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Oh my - I did not know this so I will reserve my blocks for light washes instead. Thanks!


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