Sunday, February 22, 2009

First Aid or Watercolor Painting?

When you see the photo above, you might wonder if my blog today is about first aid. Actually, this blog discusses a watercolor texturization technique using surgical gauze. The background foliage in my painting above titled, Winter Aspens, uses this technique.

Adding texture to a painting can be accomplished in many ways. One interesting way to add texture is the use of surgical gauze.

How and why does it work?
The gauze will absorb the paint and leave a mark when lifted. The difference in color from light to dark formed by the weave of the gauze will leave an interesting design.

What is important to remember when using this technique?
Manipulation of the gauze to make irregular patterns will create more interesting designs. The watercolor paper must be wet to hold the gauze in place before the paint is applied.

When should this technique be used?
This technique can be used to create spider webs, foliage, basket weave, etc.

How to texturize using surgical gauze
(1)Wet your watercolor paper with clear water. This will hold the gauze in place.
(2)Use a single layer of gauze if your gauze is doubled.
(3)Using your hands, manipulate the gauze into place purposely placing it irregularly on your painting unless a regular pattern is desired.
(4)Rewet any areas that may have dried.
(5)Using a flat brush, apply the paint. One single color or several colors can be used depending on the result you are trying to achieve.
(6)Let the gauze dry and remove it.
(7)Add any details with a round brush if there are areas that are not the consistent color or pattern you would like.

Texturization can add much detail and interest to you paintings and create designs that are not achieved easily by other methods. Use of surgical gauze is one of these methods.

Watercolor Tip on Using Surgical Gauge
Buy the cheapest gauze you can find. I purchased a name brand gauze and I am certain it would do a wonderful job on bandaging on injury. However, it had too many "good" qualities for painting. The best type gauze is one that contains no elastic or other material to make it return to its original shape. My first attempt using this gauge resulted in it returning to its original shape after it dried....while on my painting. I crept back to its original shape and did not leave the desired marks on my paper.

In addition to rolled gauze, gauze pads can also used.

1 comment:

Gin said...

This is going to sound like a Kindergarten question, but that's about where I'm at in the watercolor world! Did you mask your birch trees before you did this technique?

I love this painting and want to try it!