Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Watercolor Pencil Experiments Continued

There were a couple of things that bothered me about yesteday's watercolor pencil experiment with this Greater Yellowlegs. First the bird had too much of a reddish cast; second, the water looked too splotchy and colorless; third, the foreground was pretty undefined and lacking in color.

Normally I'd just go back into them while the painting was still wet and make a grand mess of things. This time I was more patient and waited for the paper to be completely dry before going back into it with the watercolor pencils. I have managed to get the colors of the yellowlegs a little closer to true. But I'm not really happy with either the water or the foreground. I can't say that layering on new colors has worked very well. But it may be more difficult with such a large undifferentiated space as still water. So I'm going to continue to experiment with layering of washes. I do think that eventually I'll find the way to use watercolor pencils to their best advantage. Patience, patience, patience!!


Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Ooo, it's getting there. How about some splattering for texture on the sand and darkening the water above the bird? When I splatter, I cover everything I don't want to get hit with old paper or a rag. Get your waterbrush real wet then touch it to whatever wc pencil you choose to use. Get a lot of pigment on the brush, then hit your waterbrush against your index finger in the relative area you want to splatter. If you clean your brush real quick you can then dab clear water on some of the splatters to soften them. This is tough to write about, hope you get the idea :)

Ken Januski said...

Hi Pam,

I'm glad you like it. I'm not too satisified with it though, so I'm leaving it for now. I wanted to experiment with covering almost all of the paper with a light blue wash that indicated the still water that surrounded the yellowlegs. But in doing so I think I killed off all possible vibrancy. So this one goes on the Done pile for now. Maybe I'll take another look at it in a week or so.

As always thanks for your comments. If I do decide to ever do any spattering I'll keep your method in mind. In my old abstract days, I used to pour paint through various screens to see what type of spatters I could get on my large 6'x8' canvases. So I do have some experience with spattering, just not on such a small scale and in representational work.

Congratulations by the way on your newest visiting artist fellowship. I did try to post a comment on your blog but I think it disappeared in the blogosphere.