Monday, August 03, 2009

Maldivian Sunset

Yes, I'm still pursuing that perfect sky. Getting closer. This time, I did the smart thing, and worked wet on wet. It's the smart thing because, in watercolours, if you want a soft blending of colours, you work wet in wet. Wet on dry paper gives a chunky, blocky effect, not soft puffy clouds. I discovered this well over a year ago, but my poor little brain obviously doesn't retain as much information as it used to. The trick is to wet the paper with a sponge, rather than a brush - so that the paper isn't too wet and sloshy.
The sun reflections in the sea are a bit too obvious - a pyramid reflection isn't exactly subtle. I did another one afterwards, where I got my reflections much better, but the sky didn't work so good, because my paper was too thick (300 gsm) I think, and it absorbed the water too much (+ the colours weren't great). The reflections were done by rubbing a white candle against the paper. When you paint over the wax, the water can't get through and the part where the wax was remains white (or pink if, like me, you did a glaze before applying the wax). It's called a "wax resist". I quite like it. Not sure if I'm supposed to take the wax off afterwards or not. One book doesn't mention it, another one says to take it off with a cool iron, which I tried, but it seems like too much trouble if you can leave it on.

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