Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Accidents



One of the things I like most about watercolor is the unpredictability of it. You can add the water and the paint and guide it in the direction you want it to go, but the final effect is the reaction of the water and pigment and paper to each other. This is from the photograph provided for Monthly Sketch Date for January. I loved the photo and had the idea to use salt in the background wash to give that crystalline look of foggy air. I also wanted the background to be very dark to show up the edges of rime frost. But the salt in the wash did not give me the effect I was looking for. Instead the crystals just drew the paint into blobs that ended up looking messy. It was a far cry from the airy, ethereal look I wanted. So once again, I did not make the deadline for the sketch date. But I wanted later to give it another try, maybe make the background darker and smooth some of those ugly blotches out. When I rewet the paper, suddenly those lovely crystal blooms appeared! It was exactly what I had expected the first time around. I added a little color but really it was the water that did all the work. Don't you love it when that happens?

10 comments:

Shirley said...

This is lovely - I'm so glad you described your process.

treesawardincrafts said...

Lynn this is lovely. I love the effect and the explanation on how you did it.

raena said...

I'm still getting used to the unpredictability of watercolor! This is a wonderful effect. Love it!

Barbara Weeks said...

Beautiful! I love the colors.

phthaloblu said...

This turned out beautifully! Glad your happy accident gave you the desired effect you were trying to achieve.

nanke's stuff said...

Yes, the happy accidents are what make watercolor so much fun to use .... they can also make you crazy! Very nice job with this! nancy

Ann said...

Beautiful! This would make a lovely card.

Julie Jordan Scott said...

YES! This is why I love water color, also. To me it is so much about trust and allowing myself to both have a plan and to be open to what WANTS to happen without me forcing it.

Lovely!

Lis said...

I love happy accidents/divine messes that force me to work outside my head! this is lovely and the effect perfect for the subject!

Alex said...

This is one beautiful painting!