Transparent Watercolor Painting
Watercolor painting is the application of colored pigment to paper. Water is
integral to the process: it is the vehicle for the pigment. The suspended particles of
pigment move about the surface of the cotton paper. As the water is absorbed
into the cotton fibers so are some of the smaller pigment particles. Larger
particles adhere to the surface of the cotton fibers with the help of a fixative mixed
in the paint called gum arabic.
Transparent watercolor refers to the absence of white pigment to the paint mix.
The papers' reflectance of light is used to illuminate the pigment particles. This
reflectance is unique to transparent watercolor and is what provides the
"atmospheric" quality for which watercolor is best known.
My work is produced solely by my hand. I generally work on a composition in a small
scale, maybe seven by eleven inches. Working on a half dozen small sheets allows me
to explore and edit themes considering color and tone of the composition in a quick
and efficient fashion. Upon deciding the final scale and layout for a given composition,
a final painting can begin. I retain the composition I have developed and begin work to
follow the plan for overall color and tone.
The first marks are laid down, soon the water carries a certain mark this way more than
that; the paper shows me a different light and calls for a new color to be placed...;
improvisation is at hand.