Sunday, 20 November 2011

Art Every Day Month: Day 20 * Plan B

I've been looking forward to this weekend for weeks, ever since I discovered a new class about printing techniques being offered. I signed up straight away, and I couldn't wait to finally get the chance to try some printing. I have wanted to do this for such a long time, but there weren't really (m)any classes available. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be many fellow printing enthusiasts around, as at the beginning of last week I received an e-mail that the class was cancelled.

So here I was, with the whole weekend at my disposal. And of course, I wasn't idle, even though it didn't involve any printing. Instead, I used the whole of today to prepare for another class I'm going to take, next month. A watercolour workshop I'm really excited about (and I just really, really hope that this one is not going to be cancelled too!!).

I have been very busy all day, though not really producing any "art" for day 20 of Art Every Day Month. Instead, I spent the day doing exercises in various watercolour techniques, which I intend to use both as a reference and as a reminder. Not all turned out equally well, and some didn't seem to work at all, or only revealed that they did work after all once the paint was completely dry. Well, I should know by know that watercolours involves and requires a lot of patience!

I really enjoyed this exercise though, and I'm so amazed and fascinated by the versatility of this medium. Doing these samples really helped me to get to know waterclours better. And I've already started another set of these, this time into a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook, which allows more space for notes along with the samples, and which will be much more convenient to carry around.
One of my favourite techniques is "granulation". It's one of the simplest, just a simple wash, but with a great effect. The secret is in the colour you use. Perfect for this techniques are for example Cerulean Blue, or Coelinblau in German, after "caelum", Latin for "sky", which is the one I used. Other colours that work with this technique include Ultramarine, Cobalt, Manganese, Yellow Ochre, Viridian Green, Raw Sienna and Raw Umber. What you do is basically just apply a wash - and then let the pigments of these colours do their magic. Simply marvellous. (For those colours which do not naturally create this effect, there are some aids available to get the same effect).


  1. This is such a useful exercise. I love that granulation effect and thank you for describing how to achieve it.

  2. Happy AEDM!

    Then you spent the day doing art silly!

  3. Love how your watercolor exercises look together! A great reference for you in your next class. My fingers are crossed that the class has plenty of people!

  4. I love this exercise you did and I love the idea of using a moleskine sketchbook to take notes along with your techniques. What book did you use for your reference for this? I do watercolors but I need to learn so much more and probably should do the same. Thanks for sharing!

  5. "..not really producing any art.." ?? If I had produced any one of those little technique images I would have framed it, put it on my wall and phoned everyone I know to tell them about it. Seriously, it's a great idea, and plenty of those squares stand up perfectly well as individual studies. My simple brain can't quite understand how different colours can behave in different ways, but sometimes it's best I don't ask - I just get a headache.

  6. Carol: I used the book "The New Encyclopedia of Watercolour Techniques" by Hazel Harrison. I find it really useful.

    Nigel: I'm reading a book about colour at the moment, about what colours are, how we perceive them and about how pigments are made. The writer's a scientist, and there's a whole lot of chemistry involved. Now that really gives me a headache! I don't understand half of it. It is very interesting though, this whole business of colour... :)