Thrown Paint - What?
|View from the Trail|
9" x 12"
The watercolor painting above was painted using a "thrown paint" technique. It is not as messy as it sounds. This technique lets the placement of the paint determine how your subject will be painted to some extent. You will need a subject of some sort in mind; i.e. beach scene with ocean waves, tree with foliage, such as the one above, etc. You are only limited by your imagination.
The areas of the painting to remain light are masked. then the washes for the foliage are thrown on using a mop brush. When the paint is dry, the masking fluid is removed and other shapes are painted to fit in with the shape of the thrown paint. This is a fun technique that can result in some interesting paintings....one never knows what shape the thrown paint will take.
Watercolor paper (140 lb. - I like Arches)
Masking fluid and old brush or masking applicator
Brushes - mop brush, flat brush, round brush and liner brush
- Sap Breen
- Yellow Ocher
- Cerulean Blue
- Paynes' Gray
Before paint is applied to the paper, determine you basic design. In the painting above, I wanted a landscape with trees and a peek at the mountains in the distance and some areas of sky.
With the design in mind, made a preliminary sketch on the paper so that you will know what areas need to be masked out and what areas will receive the first step of thrown paint. Allow the masking to dry. Rushing this step will ultimately result in a messy painting.
Note: I masked tree trunks, root areas and sky. Remember you cannot paint over the top of watercolor paint and expect coverage like one is able to do with acrylics. Once the paint has been applied to the page, only minor lifting can be done with some paints. Therefore, be certain to plan for enough white areas in your painting and other color light-colored areas.
Now for the fun part - throwing paint!
Mix up washes of Sap Green, Sap Green and Yellow Ocher and Sepia. Wet the painting area with clean water. While still wet and using the mop brush, "throw" on paint in the previously prepared colors to make foliage as well as areas of the ground around the lower section of the painting.
The area on the paper you would like the paint to be applied can be controlled. However, the way it flows and blends on the paper cannot be controlled. Enjoy!
Relax, allow to dry!
Now the fun begins. When the paint has dried, remove the masking fluid. Masking fluid can be removed in several ways:
- Rub gently with an eraser over the masking fluid.
- Rub gently with a bare finger over the masking fluid.
- Wrap your index finger with masking tape an tap your finger up and down and rub gently back and forth to remove the masking fluid. The tape will pick up the masking fluid.
If your painting turned out similar to mine, below are the steps to finishing the painting like mine. Be careful to paint "around" the thrown paint areas so that your paint does not blend together and your edges stay sharp. Remember, paint will flow only onto areas that are wet. This is an important reason to wait until the paint is dry before proceeding.
Use Cerulean Blue work from top to bottom painting wet on wet for the sky areas. Don't forget to paint the patches of sky that are located in the tree settings. Use a tissue and dab off some of the areas of paint for clouds.
Using different colors of paint for the sky can change the tone of the painting. Deeper blues and grays can indicate storm clouds. Adding yellow, red and orange can indicated a sunrise or sunset...your choice.
Having recently returned from a trip to Alaska, I painted "higher elevation" mountains that can be seen from a distance on a trail. It is early summer in my painting, so there is still some snow near the top. Simply paint around areas of the mountain to indicate snow. I used a purple made from Ultramarine and Crimson for my mountains and added a touch of Sap Green at the bottom edge to indicate trees at the lower elevation as seen from a distance. Allow the mountain to dry.
Your foliage is already painted - thrown in from our first step! Now you will need to paint the trunks and branches.
Wet the trunk of the tree and paint, one at a time, using a pale wash of Payne's Grey. You want a very light gray shade. While still wet, pull in some Sepia along either the left or right edge and alternate in places...deeper in shadows and a drop here and there for knots and other imperfections in the tree trunk. Using the round brush, paint in some branches. Refer to the photo above.
The areas at the bottom of the tree trunks were already dark - thanks to the thrown paint in the first step. However, the roots were masked. Paint the roots with Paynes Gray and Sepia similar to the tree trunks. Allow to dry.
Using pale washes of Sepia, Paynes Gray and light green from your pallet, drop in the foreground colors. Allow the paint to blend. When dry spatter a darker shade of the green and gray in the front area of the foreground.
Look at your painting and determine what details, if any, you would like to add. I used a liner brush and Sepia to paint in some lines on the tree trunks and in the root area.
Sign your painting! Congratulations!
Hope you enjoyed "throwing paint!"