With limited options for my daily sketching (can’t paint it my car studio, can’t paint outside, can’t draw anything very precise like architecture) I am focusing on something I never seem to have the time to do, which is painting on a sheet of watercolour paper that has been fully saturated on both sides.  I learned to paint this way many years ago and although it seems like you might easily lose control of the surface, if you remove the excess water with a rolled-up clean towel, you can obtain effects that you wouldn’t be able to on a dry sheet. And you can keep working on the painting for an hour or two without the sheet ever drying out. The secret to this technique is in the amount of water on your brush. If you add more water than is on the paper, you end up with backruns and blooms, but if each layer of paint has a little less water than what is on the surface of the paper, then you can maintain some control of your washes. It takes lots of practice but I figure that by the time this annoying cast comes off I will have made some progress.


36 Comments on “Vinegars”

  1. Beautiful! Le rendu des bouteilles est impressionnant!

  2. Shari, that is fantastic. You really captured the curves and shine of the glass bottles.

  3. suma karveti says:

    Lovely work Shari! I love your paintings of simple things in your home. The objects may be simple but your watercolor work is definitely detailed and layered!

  4. raenassketchbook says:

    Your work always impresses me. I am going to try this. Do you not tape it down or staple it when working like this? When I first was taught watercolor, we soaked the page, stapled it down/taped it, then dried it.

    • No staples or tape Raena. With this method you paint while the sheet is wet. It will dry from the edges in, so all you need are some bulldog clips to hold down the edges. And a board that is slightly larger than your paper size.

  5. Dee says:

    This is how I learned to paint too, Shari We never even clipped the paper..just were sure it was soaked equally on both sides. And we used a natural wet sponge to lift excess. A wonderful clearness way to paint.

  6. Lyn Seley says:

    When you work on saturated paper can you still use a diluted paint like 1%milk for the lighter values? Or does the paint have to be concentrated? If so how do you get the light values?

  7. croquedessin says:

    Superb !

  8. Lee Kline says:

    Soak that paper! I learned the same way as a student of Charles Logan Smith many years ago and have gotten lazy about it. I used to soak large sheets in the bathtub.

  9. Monique says:

    I love your indoor paintings of our every day items..Lovely!

  10. Tony says:

    Lovely painting as always Shari – and with a cast on too! How do you reserve such ‘crisp’ whites on such wet paper? Or do you maybe paint them back in later when using this method?

  11. marctaro says:

    Beautiful water effects.That’s really taking advantage of the medium. I really need to push this in my own work. Great to see you experimenting even with the broken wing.

  12. joncrispin says:

    Shari, thanks for following me on tumblr. Love your work. Jon

  13. Linda Daily says:

    This is my favorite of your recent kitchen,bottle series! The colors are so clear yet soft.
    You are amazing! I must try this wet technique again. I have not liked it much in the past.
    Do you use just 140 lb. paper?

  14. Before I read the post, I looked at the sketch and though “lush and liquid, almost glossy in appearance. Very nice painting sketch, and as always, obviously the result of some very well-honed and well-practiced technique.

  15. Enviroart says:

    Hey Shari
    Didn’t know you were a blogger
    Love your stuff and sorry about your wrist. It doesn’t seem to stop you!

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