Welcome to the artist's blog of Pat Howard! The Painted Prism is an inspiring and inviting Watercolor Painting Studio -- full of workshops, demos, paintings (finished & in progress), photos, projects, lessons, and other watercolor news and helpful information.
DAY #1 -- Using the square window pane as the basis for a watercolor technique exercise; and, showing how I used the window pane design in a series of paintings.
MY WINDOW PANE SERIES
For each of these, I painted separate little paintings, which were then mounted to form one big painting . . .
The small paintings were done on 10" x 10", or 12" x 12", handmade watercolor paper squares, which were then mounted on black mat board, leaving a 1/2" space between them, so that it looked like window panes.
I did not paint one big painting and then cut it up into smaller squares. I guess I could have done it that way, but these small handmade paper squares have such beautiful deckled edges that aren't perfectly straight -- I would have lost that.
This paper, called "Indian Village" handmade paper, is a challenge to paint on. It sucks up the watercolor like a sponge, so you have to apply many layers in order to get bright colors. I also chose to draw my shapes with liquid acrylic, which acts like a dam for the watercolor washes. But, the resulting texture and 3-dimensional quality that I got, made the challenge worth it.
I also enjoyed designing my paintings in this modular way, resulting in this windowpane effect.
WINDOWPANE EXERCISE -- A sampler of watercolor techniques to try . . .
On a scrap of watercolor paper, draw a big square, and then do a simple contour drawing of a big pear, with a cast shadow.
On top of this drawing, draw two straight lines, dividing the square into 4 equal sections, like four window panes. Around the edges, label the sections with the technique you are going to use. You will paint each section separately, and a little differently.
Top Left -- Paint the background shape first, using salt for texture. When that is dry, paint the yellow shape of the pear.
Top Right -- Paint the yellow pear first, sprinkling in salt for texture. When that is dry, paint the background shape. Remember to only paint the portion of the pear that is within that section.
Bottom Left -- Paint each shape within this section separately -- wetting the shape first, and then dropping in color, letting the colors mix and mingle within each shape.
Bottom Right -- Paint each shape as a graded wash -- painting wet on dry. Start painting each shape with a color, then switch to another color within that shape, while the first color is still wet. Be sure to use enough water, so the colors mix easily.
When all this is dry, you can go over your lines with a black pen.