Wulf's Webden

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Probably Both

If I don’t have a particular idea in mind as the next thing to paint, I find it useful to spend a bit of time just playing with the pigments. Here is a session from Saturday in Schmincke Pthalo Blue and Royal & Langnickel Crimson Red Lake:

Watercolour test sheet in blue and red

Playing with Blue and Red

As it dried, it put me in mind of my earlier attempt to work up clouds at sunset (see The Other Side) and so I set out to experiment. Using a small test sheet, I painted two rectangles of water. On the left, I filled it entirely with Pthalo Blue before dropping in streaks of the red; on the right I left gaps to apply the red in the same pattern, which is why the colour appears more vivid. You can see the dampness of the paper at the point where I decided to leave it:

Watercolour experiments - explained in text

Sky Test – Wet

For comparison, here is the same sheet completely dried:

Watercolour experiments - explained in text

Sky Test – Dry

I expected the patches of water at the bottom of each to possibly form a heavier patch of colour but, left flat, the water seems to have migrated back into the picture, pushing the pigment before it.

Which one will work for the picture I have in mind? Probably both: red over blue near the top and then red dropped into white spaces where I want the colour to be more intense near the bottom of the piece.

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