Playing with Shape Tape and Watercolor Techniques


This is a repost of artwork from 2014, that I did while playing with techniques ala Jeanette Carbonetti, who wrote the ‘Tao of Watercolor’.  It’s a very loose style, where you apply the paint and then follow where it leads.

In a seeming change of subject, Frog Tape just came out with a brand of tape, ‘Shape Tape’.  I was intrigued with the idea of using it for art journaling and crafting.  In a sudden moment of whimsy, I had the idea of using it to create a framed shape around a watercolor painting.

I had a rough idea of an urban scene–wondering if something could be done using the ‘Tao’ style with buildings.  I worked up some very runny colors–Gamboge, Quinacridone Rust and Phthalocyanine Green and let it drip, charging in some colors down the page.  Then I picked out shapes to be windows and doors and highlights and, of course, the fella with the umbrella.

I like it, even though the perspective is totally distorted.  I think the Shape Tape framing lets me get away with it–you sort of expect distorted.  The tape wasn’t totally sucessful–it did let some paint seep in, but again, funky.  You can get away with things when you get funky.

Possibly, I’ll try this again, now that I have an idea where I want to go.  Even though the idea is have very loose control and let the paint do what paint will do, you can guide things a bit, and I think I could take what I like from this and make it better.

Added from today in 2019: Although I didn’t think of it at the time, looking back at this artwork, my recent Rainy Day paintings (see my tutorial here) are very much influenced by what I learned from the ‘Tao of Watercolor’.  It’s one of the most influential books in letting the loose flow of watercolor guide you.

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