11/12/08

PACKING LIGHT

Painting with watercolors outside, without any easel or table, presents some unique challenges. Before deciding what to paint, I look for a good place to perch that has room to place my painting gear beside me. Holding my paper or pad of paper in front of me with my paints off to the left, I usually try not to face my subject matter, preferring to have it off to the side.

See the Winsor Newton palette that went overseas with me? It's shown closed up with my two extra brushes, then partially open, then, below, fully opened with every bit of my gear around it. It has a sealed container for water which is covered by a couple of lids that serve as water holders, a small round brush, and 12 Cotman colors.

First thing I did was pry out the Cotmans and fill each remaining plastic square with my favorite colors, letting them dry out completely before topping them off again. Before closing it to pack, I make sure the colors were dry so they wouldn't slop out of their squares.

There are two side trays that pull out, so one was kept for mixing and the other made into space for MORE colors. Using some hot glue to build up an edge to separate the colors, I made sure the rim of hot glue was low enough to let the tray slide back where it belonged later. Now the palette holds 20 colors, not 12. It's good to have ample granulating colors and extra greens for a travel palette.

A Cheap Joes half inch flat travel brush and a Daniel Smith #8 round travel brush give me a range of brushes to use, although the flat's used the most. Thanks, Jude, for giving me the brush. It's great for travel.

Along with a 5x7 pad of 140#CP Fabriano or Arches paper, there are tissues, an automatic pencil, a permanent marker for pen and ink, and a cut in half credit card, all placed inside a heavy duty ziplock baggy. That's it, and it all fits inside my purse, not adding much weight at all. Have paint, will travel!

Posted below is the same painting as my last post but showing very slight adjustments to the sky and some walls. I had some trouble getting a good photo to post that showed the subtle changes, though, but on our monitor it looks much more accurate than the previous post.

After the whole painting was wet, a little raw sienna was added to the upper part of the sky but not allowed to travel down onto the sunlit buildings. Although I liked the pure white sky, after trying a little color on a piece of wettable acetate over the painting, it was obvious that the slight tint in the sky pushed the viewer down into the painting better. Raw sienna was also glazed onto the wet paper over parts of the buildings to help unify and darken them, and a small amount was added to the foreground water area.

Being able to re-wet a whole painting and not have it bleed is great. Fluid Acrylics and Transparent Watercolors, made of the same exact pigments but with different binders, are virtually impossible to tell apart on the paper. I love how transparent they are - though that's certainly not true of tube acrylics.

I'm off to a new painting, actually two in the works right now. After sorting some of my photos, I realized I better get busy. There are more that MUST be painted than I ever imagined.

5 comments:

Dawn said...

very cool travel palatte Sandy.
Love the new look to your venice painting, it really glows.

Nava said...

That glaze of Sienna seems to have warmed the whole painting. It has a wonderful mood!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Who would think a little touch of raw sienna would change a painting so. Thanks for ex-plaining your reasons for adding this final glaze. Its almost sad the other version has gone for ever - I love them both.

RHCarpenter said...

What beautiful intuition to glaze here and there with the raw sienna, which tied this all together and created a dance of sunlight throughout! Beautiful and a much stronger and more interesting painting now.

Sandy said...

HAD to comment on this before I get off the computer tonight. LOVE it!