One of my favorite things about watercolor is how luminous the paint appears. When paint is applied by pouring, without the aid of a brush, it seems to have even more luminosity, too. That's how this painting started.

The first picture here shows the painting right after I'd removed the miskit. All the edges are crisp as a result of using the miskit, but the painting has a very graphic and, unfortunately, almost monotone look. (I think I let the colors blend together too much during the early pours.) I was not ready to call the painting finished so I had to get out my brush and make lots of adjustments.

This old nurse log 'lives' in Washington State, where Dawn Bailey took an excellent photograph of it with all the moss and ferns growing around it. Be sure to check out her nature blog - Vulture Cafe - on the side bar.

We painted together a week ago, and this was one of our projects. In fact, it's actually her fault that I'm teaching 'online' now to several artists - she instigated the idea and nagged me until I said we'd give it a try. She's a great photographer and knows her way around handling a paintbrush pretty well, too. We had a good time last week painting in real life instead of via cyberspace on the Internet.

The next painting shows lots of the adjustments, but the last photo shows what I think is the finished painting. In this last photo, only minor adjustments were made to various edges along with subtle value and color changes to some small areas. Because I painted over almost the entire picture with a brush, much of the original luminosity of pouring the paint has been compromised.

See if you can find the mountain chickadee that was added in the last photo - which sang to us as we painted that day in our woodland studio. It really looks more like a sparrow, so you'll have to use your imagination.

"HAVEN" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches 11 x 15" COLLECTED


Dawn said...

Well I can only hope to do as well Sandy. looks great!thanks for the instructions. have a great weekend! Say bye to B for me.

Sandy said...

What a fantastic finish! I must say though that I really like each stage...the graphic qualities of the first one appeal to me almost as much as the last.However the finale is brilliant ..another Sandy Maudlin masterpiece! Thanks also sandy for explaining the process. (I can't find the little bird)

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Sandy, Here is your Yupo question of the day. Do you spray your finished Yupo paintings with an ultraviolet, moisture-repelling spray such as Krylon or something like that? I need to know since I am not sure how that would look on this white background for my iris painting. Taylor Ikin does spray her works, but just lightly, and I don't recall any white backgrounds on her paintings to know how the spray reacts with no color added to the white paper.

Thanks in advance,

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks for the kind comments, ladies. Susan, many ask about spraying YUPO. It's fine to use either Krylon satin clear spray (Walmart) or Blair fixative - more bucks but same product. Use a light sweeping spray from side to side, allow to dry and respray again. . . and again.

Some people spray several times and use no glass to frame the YUPO painting - not what i recommend, tho. I have been able to go back in and cut thru the sprayed surface to make changes, so i don't think the spray makes the surface durable enough for everyday wear and tear. Mine are covered with plexi or glass.

HOWEVER - I no longer spray mine at all. The only danger is that should you take it to a framer who has moist fingers, their fingerprints could be imprinted where they handle it. Also, if you sell the painting unframed, be sure to include clear directions about handling the painting until it's framed.

I've never been able to tell any discoloration on the YUPO - painted or plain white surface - from the spray.

I don't spray mine because it's a hassle and because I may want to go back in later and change something. I think Taylor only sprays hers around the edges for that reason. George James - THE most awesome YUPO MASTER, for sure, doesn't spray his.

If you ever use salt on the YUPO, you must thoroughly spray it to seal the salt from humidity or it'll absorb moisture and rewet the paint on the YUPO surface. (I no longer advise using salt effects on YUPO.)

Great job on your irises.

Pablo Villicana Lara said...

What beautiful colors and atmosphere! I have to ask again . . . where do you find the time to paint so many wonderful paintings! You must never sleep!

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Wow, Sandy! I only anticipated a Yes or No answer on the sealer on Yupo question. I should have known you are such a giving instructor that you would help me this much. Thanks for this! I think I will not spray it. I always put everything under glass in the frame and since we are on the desert there won't likely be many humid days to cause condensation.

Thanks again, you are a good friend to those of us who are just learning about this Yupo. It is a curse and a blessing to work with, but I will get there yet!

Regarding your wonderful poured painting, you mentioned losing the original luminosity from the pours by going in later. I think this just added to the luminosity of the center of interest, those glowing and golden ferns. The moody background shows them off perfectly. I have started saving photos of paintings that I admire in a special folder on my computer. This is for going back later and studying and dissecting to see how it was done, I find that very important as I try to improve my skills. You can bet this one is going into that file. I like the primary shading that you did on the first pours, those already act as a roadmap for later and then of course you finished that off so well with the increased shading and the lifting for the highlights. I love this, can you tell?

Sandy said...

So beautiful and I enjoyed reading about it but I cannot find the bird!! Hint...?? I have a feeling it is a "shadow" ....

Sandy Maudlin said...

Hi everyone, So kind of you to leave comments. And for the andy's who can't find the bird, click on the last image to enlarge it then check out the upper left area of the nurse log. Our bird is perched there, singing it's little heart out.

nina said...

Thanks for visiting my site--your works are beautiful.
And you're in Cincinnati, too!
How'd it take us this long to meet?