Today I look at working with watercolor on a not-wet-media paper.
In May I shared with you how I started working in a Canson 180 sketchbook given to me by a friend. Because recovery from cataract surgery has been protracted I’ve been rather cooped up, unable to drive, get to life drawing, etc.
One of my young friends alerted me to his pending shaving off of his beard. He let me take a bunch of photos that I could sketch from at home.
Here you see the pen sketch I started in my Canson 180 sketchbook. I know that I’m going to add watercolor washes over the pen sketch. I know that I’ll use transparent washes (as that was my mood) so the pen work will show. With that in mind I allowed myself to play with the line qualities of the Fude pen.
You will see in the scan of the sketch that the top of the page is already ripply. This is from moisture seeping through a previous page. I’m unconcerned about working with wet media on lightweight non-wet-media papers, so this doesn’t bother me.
The nice thing about this particular drawing paper is that even though it isn’t sized for wet media it will take wet media (as you can see from the previous linked post in May, and later in this finished piece).
In the second scan of this post you can see the final watercolor washes. And yes there is more rippling and buckling of the paper. But it doesn’t bother me. I have enjoyed putting paint on this paper.
In the detail of the image which follows you’ll see that you can achieve fun mingling and glazing of color. I’ve used an opaque yellow to put in some lighter tones in the hair and beard.
That pigment has also been useful in the eye, creating a gold glow when added wet-in-wet to the initial mixed brown wash.
As is my habit recently, I worked this sketch with flats and filberts.
Don’t shy away from using non-wet media paper. There’s a lot of fun to be had in adapting your approach to a paper that is “delicate.”
I’ll have some more examples of painting on this paper later this week.