Yay! Finally, I did something I like! But the painting was a process of liking it then messing it up. Then trying something and liking it, but then messing it up and…well, finally I quit while I was ahead, lol!
This started as an experiment with Daniel Smith Watercolor ground. I painted a page in my moleskine with the ground to see if i would turn a sketchbook page into a watercolor page. I did two coats of ground with a day between, and then left it for a week to be sure it was cured.
The texture was rough, but the paint sort of slid around on the ground. I started a Linda Kemp style negative painting. Initially, I like the textured look I was getting, but by the time I finished covering the page using a dry on wet technique, I hated it. I set it aside until I decided what I wanted to do.
Over the last week or so, I’ve picked the moleskine up and looked at the piece, but inspiration did not strike. Then last night, I decided to see how my Letraset Aqua Markers would do on the ground. To my surprise, while laying the color down, I got a sgraffito look–the marker tips were actually picking up and moving some of the first layer of color, even though there had been more than a week curing.
I like Sgraffito (a technique where you scrape a top layer of paint that isn’t quite dry to reveal bits of the layers beneath) so I went with it. But then I added water to the Aqua Marker to smooth it in some areas. I did not like that look.
The painting reminded me of an old icon, sort of peeling paint on wood. I felt it was too soon to give up, and pulled out my Daniel Smith 66 Try-it dots. I covered the splotches I didn’t like with some Quinicridone Fuschia and Blue Apatite Genuine, and then used Iridescent Sunspot in some areas to give them a burnished wood patina.
I liked it. It didn’t feel finished, but I’m not stupid. I know when to stop, right? Lol!
The upshot is that painting on Daniel Smith Watercolor ground is not the same as painting on watercolor paper. There may be ways to improve that. I think I might try sanding the ground, or playing with the thickness of how I apply it. Even if I can’t get it to work exactly like sized paper, I think I can get some interesting effects.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good photo or scan of the painting, so you may wonder what the fuss is about. But the point of this post is, if you don’t like something you’ve done, consider experimenting. What have you got to lose?