Peony Particles

Art 41This watercolor is started in a very unique way.  Really all you need to begin is your paints, brushes, a color palette you want to use AND the chintziest (and cheapest) surgical gauze you can buy.  Have your paper taped on one edge to a rigid board that you can move later to set aside if you need the space.  First choice though would be do it somewhere you can just leave it.  This start takes a long time to dry.    You may or may not have a subject matter in mind when you begin this part of the painting.  I promise you’ll be excited to discover how this somewhat unpredictable, self-imposed chaotic start can help you  loosen any subject.

Detail Peony ParticlesFor a full sheet of watercolor paper you will cut only a 10″ (or so) length of gauze off the roll, completely unfold it and then start ripping the daylights out of it as you spread it to cover the sheet creating the webs of strings and holes you see in the detail.  Sometimes it’s really helpful to lightly spray the gauze as you spread it – lightly being the keyword.  The when it’s a perfectly formed mess of strings and holes begin laying the various colors of paint more or less along the strings, letting them mix themselves and spraying as needed to loosen edges in some places.  Don’t be too timid with values because some areas will wash out as you do the final painting.  Let it dry completely before removing the gauze and continuing.


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