Masking, Pouring, Glazing, and Finishing:
"Morning Light #4"
Preparation Step 1:
Prepare the paper by stapling it down to a
gator board. Tape the edges with masking
At left, Jaimie
techniques at the Miami
General Meeting in
Preparation Step 2:
Draw the outline of your main shapes. Keep
the drawing simple. Make your pencil lines
dark enough to see them after washes of
color are applied.
(Optional) Preparation Step 3:
Cover areas of the drawing to protect it, by
taping mylar down, and cutting pieces out
with a craft or Exacto knife. Then, stamp
uncovered areas with rubber stamps coated
with white or black gesso to create a "resist"
In this example, the drawing
has been protected by mylar,
which is taped at the edges,
and shapes have been cut
out. Then, white gesso was
applied to a rubber stamp,
and stamped onto the
exposed areas of the paper.
Preparation Step 4:
Save the white areas of your composition
with masking fluid applied using a nylon type
You are ready to paint! Here are the next
Painting Step 1: Pouring
> Prepare a minimum of 3 separate plastic
cups of diluted tube watercolor pigment,
selecting 3 transparent, staining, primary colors.
> Wet your paper evenly with a very wide natural
fiber brush, such as a "Hake" brush, or a
squirrel wash brush.
> Laying your board flat, pour small quantities of
yellow, red, then blue pigment onto areas of
> Encourage your paints to mingle gently by
tilting the board slightly. Do not try to control the
mingling too much-- allow the watercolor to do
In the photo to the left, note
the plastic cups with diluted
primary pigments. Jaimie
pours them onto the paper,
with a tub underneath to
catch the run-off of paint.
In the example to the left, one
layer of primary pigments have
been poured onto the paper, left
to sit for a few minutes, then
poured off into a tub (dispose of
these poured-off paints).
Painting Step 2: Glazing
> Once your pour has completely dried
(preferably overnight), you are ready to glaze.
> Glaze using transparent pigments. You may
use the same diluted colors that you poured
> Be mindful of the color wheel when glazing,
and try to glaze "analogous" colors over each
other, rather than "complementary" colors,
which can lead to mud or too much neutral
In the example to the left,
some primary colors have
been glazed over the first
pour, in thin transparent
layers, staying mostly on the
"analogous" side of the color
wheel as each color
underneath. This causes the
underlying subjects to "glow"
and the focal points begin to
emerge from the overall color.
Painting Step 4: Applying Darks & Finishing
> Give your previous steps a chance to dry,
for at least one hour or overnight.
> Using transparent, luminous dark
pigments, let the dark colors mingle while
painting the background areas around the
positive "objects" in the foreground.
> When you paint around the objects, and IF
your darks are dark enough, your objects will
"pop" forward in space.
In the example to the left, the
darks are in the process of
being applied. Various
violets and deep blues are
allowed to mingle together
in a juicy, dark application,
carefully painting around the
Final Step: Evaluate, touch-up, & frame
Carefully look at your painting, and evaluate
the contrast of jewel colors vs neutral colors,
light vs dark, soft vs hard edges, etc.
Make any adjustments to balance it all out.
Put a nice mat on it, or frame it.
Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
The final product: "Morning Light #4"
> The whites have been preserved, and now
the masking has been removed.
> The mid-tones were achieved by first
pouring, then glazing to enhance areas and
insert mid-tones where desired.
> The darks have been applied generously
to make the focal area "pop".
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