A Day of Watercolor

This past weekend our local art group had our quarterly Art Camp.  We rent an art classroom at the local community college and get together for three days of uninterrupted art.  Each of us works on a project of our own choice.  We enjoy each other’s company, and learn from each other as well.  This past camp we had people working in clay, watercolor, acrylic, and pastel.

I decided to work in watercolor.  I don’t do much of it and these three days would be a good opportunity to get in some practice time.  I chose to paint a squirrel and did a careful drawing before I transferred it to the watercolor paper, but the point was really to pay attention to the watercolor technique itself.

The biggest problem I had was the color in the background.  Getting an even tone is something I find nearly impossible, especially when I am working around the subject and, therefore, are working rather slowly.  I know I could mask the squirrel and leaves, but I don’t know how I would mask the fuzzy tail, so I just decided to go ahead working around things. 

The one conclusion I came to is that it would have been a lot easier if I had prepared a large pool of paint of the right consistency.  Without doing so, I was taking more time than I needed to in loading the brush – giving the painted edge I had just done more time to dry, which leaves an undesirable sharp edge.  And also the saturation of the color was different from one load to the next.

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