Thursday, April 24, 2014

Watercolor on Canvas en plein air

watercolor and ink on 9 x 11 canvas on board 

Absolutely gorgeous morning…85 with slight breeze.  This is in my next door neighbor's back yard.  He does a fantastic job of gardening AND he has a model sailboat that he enjoys  sending out on the pond (you can just see it in the background off the right side of my easel.  

This canvas is primed for acrylic and oil, of course, not wc…so you have two choices: one you can prime it yourself or just use it the way it is and let is bleed softly (which is what I did this time.  After it was dry I added the ink. I see a few little things I am going to change.  The darker green behind the pond on the top left should come out on the other side of the tree just a little…the "rabbit in-rabbit out" rule.  And I may add just a touch more dark green in the center of interest near the back of the chair by the red flowers.  

Incidentally in my view you can prep inexpensive (not for wc canvas) in two ways.  One you can use a wet wash rag and just wipe it fairly vigorously to remove some of the gesso priming before starting.  This seems to set it a little more.  Sometimes I prime the background colors just slightly while this is still wet.  

Or you can use watercolor "ground" made by Daniel Smith (some others may make it now).  You have to thin this and apply more than one coat and then sand it with VERY fine sandpaper.  Or you can buy watercolor canvas which is already prepared for you.  It tends to be a little more expensive but it is nice to work on.  (Fredrix is the most well-known brand).  

I will spray this piece at least 4 times with a mat acrylic varnish and frame it without glass.  

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