Thursday, December 6

Painting Wet-In-Wet

My Wet-in-Wet at
a Recent Exhibit
One of the most difficult techniques for many, if not most, watercolor painters is painting wet-in-wet. It sure is for me.

Why is that? Well, it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway--all that water....

You probably already know of what I'm speaking, but just in case, wet-in-wet is that tricky technique in which you paint juicy paint onto an already moistened area of your paper.

If you've never tried it, you must. Then you'll know what all the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing is about.

Of course, watercolor requires water. But, how much? That is the question and the secret.

Too much water on either your brush and/or the paper and your paint washes away in gushing rivulets that become blooms, cauliflowers, or whatever else you may call them. They are those ugly water stains that spoil your work and are a horror for most watercolorists.

Too little water is almost as bad because you tend to keep adding more and more, trying to gauge just the right amount, until you predictably get the above-mentioned blooms. Dang it.

There are several expert watercolorists who have mastered this technique--Joseph Zbukvic and Alvaro Castagnet, just to name two.

Here's the thing, there is no way of  teaching, telling, or showing anyone how to master this technique. Believe me.

You can attend workshops and you can watch DVDs, but you will only learn how to do it by doing it over and over and over again. Only you can learn how much water should be applied on the paper and on the brush for your particular application. You, all by yourself.

Now, what could be simpler? If nothing else, think of it as character-building.

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