This is the final week of the term in which my class have been re-visiting watercolour basics – it’s always good to revise, especially when, like me, you’re dissatisfied with current efforts. So we were examining what wax resist, different sizes of salt granules, using a natural sponge, scratching with a craft knife, and using the other end of the brush, can do for a painting. In the past, I have resisted such assistance, as I have resisted mixed media, being an delusional purist (if you can’t do it with a brush, you need to improve your brushwork!). But that’s very silly, since tightens the work, and gives a totally false sense of superiority, and cuts down the fun.
I chose a collection of pebbles as the practise piece, as they have interesting textures, and colours.
You can see the wax resist – it’s just a candle – on the tops of the stones, giving a speckled effect. What is less clear in the sponge work on the left pebble. It was also a chance to practise wet-in-wet to make the pebbles seem rounded. Quite a low key end to the term, but I think we all gained from a look at basic skills.