Often in the process of creating a watercolor painting the artist does what is called, “laying down a wash.”
“For Brian” 13x19 in.
This means covering a large area of paper, as in a sky or section of still water, with a pigment-water solution. Once a wash has begun it must be completed without a pause so there will be a consistent layer of color.
During this time I won’t stop to answer phones, questions or do anything else unless there is an obvious emergency. I even hesitate when there is a family crisis such as difficulty breathing or bleeding if I’m working on a big area that must be done all in one passage. Timing is everything in a lot of watercolor painting.
Waiting can also be important. In instances where I want to put one color over another or right next to another the first color must be dry. Some artists use a hair dryer to speed things up.
Detail of “
Farm” 8x10 in. Swan
But this often prevents the heavier particles of pigment from settling into the texture of the paper which causes a wonderful variety of color. (More of my paintings for sale on my Etsy Site)
I use the waiting time to work on other things, or, procrastinate. It’s also an excuse to gaze out the window. I keep my camera handy to record interesting items such as...
and also the coming and going of neighborhood feathered friends.
All the migrating birds have pretty much left by November
so those stopping by are hardy creatures looking for a meal.
They are a great organic insecticide.
The woodpeckers not only hammer out the bugs
under the tree bark,
but also poke around in the lawn for grubs and other crawly things.
Sometimes crows and magpies come by.
I get a kick out of how they stash their finds in their mouth.
Magpies are a favorite of mine.
We had several different pet magpies when I was growing up.
They are clever characters. Plus I like the contrast of their black and white coats...
and the way sunlight shines through their wings.
Now I’ve frittered away enough time and have run out of excuses.
So I’ll take a deep breath, hope for success and do my wash.