Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WEDNESDAY WORKSHOP -- Painting (and Un-Painting) on Aquabord

Follow along as I paint a floral bouquet on aquabord, using mixed media -- watercolor and liquid acrylic. 

I first flood the entire surface of the board with clear water.

Then, I choose three watercolor pigments to use for the wet-in-wet underpainting.  For this painting, I'm using quinacridone gold, quinacridone burnt orange, and Natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Genuine (yes, that's really the name of the pigment).

I begin to apply those colors to the wet board -- I'm obviously not trying for an even wash.  You can't get an even wash on Aquabord, so don't even try -- I actually like the interesting textures that are created.

I continue painting each of the colors at a time, letting them mingle together -- until the entire surface is covered with paint.

While the surface is still wet, I spatter some turquoise and burnt orange onto the surface.  Then I let the board dry completely.

I'm now ready to start on the drawing.  My inspiration for this floral bouquet comes from the lush floral oil paintings of the Dutch Masters.  I'm also using as references, pix of butterflies and flowers from magazines like "Birds & Blooms".  I "draw" the shapes with a skinny "rigger" brush and liquid metallic acrylic.  Again, I'm using turquoise (my new favorite color -- I even painted my kitchen cabinets this color).  

If necessary, you can pencil in the shapes first, then apply the liquid acrylic.  Once it is on the board, it can not be removed.

Now it's time for the "un-painting", where I lift the color from the board.

I wet a shape at a time with a brush and clear water . . .

Then, I lift off the color with a Q-Tip.  You can really scrub the board, if you need to.  No need to worry about lifting off the drawing, because the acrylic line will not lift -- only the watercolor underpainting.

I go through LOTS of Q-Tips!

I work my way around the painting, lifting out the color from any shape that will be white, light, or bright. 

Any shape that will be dark, I don't un-paint -- like the vase.

I then start painting with watercolor again.  I take advantage of the aquabord surface to get all sorts of nice textures.

I try not to paint over the acrylic line, because I like the nice contrast that I get with the yellow and orange watercolor next to the turquoise.  This makes all the colors seem brighter!

When painting reds, it's good to paint a warm red and a cool red within the same shape, and let them mix together.  If necessary, I lift out a few highlights.

Next Wednesday, I will show you how I finished the painting!  See you then!



  1. What an interesting technique, and a great tutorial! Very clear, thanks!

    1. Thank you, Denise! I see that you also paint on Aquabord -- do you use that exclusively? Your paintings are beautiful -- I especially love the portrait of "Chloe".