Saturday, March 24, 2012

Working in Watercolor - and the Re-Opened Studio Store!

Oak Creek Sketch, 8x10, watercolor

I don't work in watercolor very much.  Why?  Because I spend nearly 100% of my painting time honing my skills in oil and pastel.  As I've described in these pages before, oil and pastel fill my needs as a landscape painter.  Yet I do enjoy working in watercolor when the opportunity arises, as it did this week.

As luck would have it, I had not one, not two, but three students working in watercolor.  (The others worked in pastel.)  So, to be fair to the watercolorists, I decided to work in watercolor, too.  I modified the 9x12 Guerrilla Painter box that I use for oil to accommodate my watercolor setup.  I prefer to work with my paper nearly vertical, unlike most watercolorists who work flat; the Guerrilla box served me well with the paper taped to a panel in the lid.   I hung my little water bag from a pair of clips off to the right, and put my hand-held palette on top of the Guerrilla box's palette.

Watercolor in the arid Southwest can be difficult because of the rapid drying time.   I recommend working small (8x10 is what I use) and, if you're using washes, applying washes in small patches.  The drying time can be a plus, though, since you don't have to wait long before you can apply delicate glazes over previously painted areas.  Accompanying this post are some of my watercolors from this week.

By the way, it soon will be time to close down the Arizona studio to head east again.  Before I go, I always like to clean out my studio to see if I have any smaller pieces, demos and sketches that I might offer through my studio store.  To see this season's offerings at the Michael Chesley Johnson Studio Store, please click here.

Arizona Sycamore Sketch, 10x8, watercolor

Canyon Hill Sketch, 8x10, watercolor

Sailrock Sketch, 8x10, watercolor

1 comment:

Jo Castillo said...

Michael, those watercolors are great. I love the wet in wet parts and your palette. I think it is really good to work in a different medium once in a while. It makes us get out of our routine and think a bit. Thanks for the reminder.