Watercolour

Seascape Practice

This weekend I started some watercolour seascape practice…

Beach 1 - NB

This was just a fairly quick sketch. The wave was created from a deliberate watermark. Once dry I added a little detail and definition. The colours I used were Prussian Blue, Cobalt Turquoise Light and Raw Sienna, by Winsor & Newton. And I also used some Buff Titanium by Daniel Smith. All the white areas in the painting are white paper.

Ocean 2 - NB

In the above painting I have used masking fluid to reserve the white of the wave and sea spray – no gouache or other white medium has been used. I have to say that I’m not mad keen on masking fluid… BUT I’m even less keen about using white gouache (and other white mediums) to add whites to a watercolour. The whitest white in a watercolour painting will always be the white of the paper. The white paper in a watercolour reflects light beautifully. White gouache is less efficient at reflecting the light and will never appear a white as the original white paper; plus overusing white gouache (or similar) can make a painting look dull.

I have decided that in my watercolour work I would rather reserve the white paper for my whites as much as possible and only use Winsor & Newton’s professional Titanium White watercolour paint (not gouache) for whites when absolutely necessary. As well as masking fluid there are other ways to reserve the white paper which I will explore in another post.

Beach 2 - NB

Above is a simple sea shore. Again the white areas are white paper reserved by masking fluid. I have to say that my masking fluid application skills need to improve somewhat…! I’ll work on it. The colours used in this painting were Paynes Grey, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue GS, Raw Umber and Raw Sienna, all by Winsor & Newton. I also used Buff Titanium and Goethite by Daniel Smith.

So to conclude, whilst I’m not mad keen about masking fluid, I can see that there are occasions when it’s advantageous or necessary to use it. I really enjoyed painting these seascapes. I have a longing to be by the sea…

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