My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The colour white…

A few weeks ago, I featured my poem The Colour Black.  I do not have a poem for the colour white, because in watercolour there’s no such thing.  The only white, is the white of the paper.  This taxes the painter’s ability to handle the medium.  Before the first wash hits the paper, you have to know where to leave space for the whites and highlights. 

Okay, I admit, you can use a masking fluid, but I’ve no time to mess about with such devices.  I cannot put passion on hold while I dabble with chemicals.  Moreover, I can always tell when a painter has resorted to such tricks: the end result is all too slick for my liking.  Better by far to catch a wash at the critical moment and guide it away from a no-go area. 

Today’s painting is unfinished, but it illustrates how I anticipate my whites.   To the right you see three figures and towards the centre, you see a space left for a possible forth.  If I decide keep to three figures, I can paint over the vacant space left for the forth, but once the white of the paper is lost, I can never get it back again.

1 comment:

  1. You certainly have to plan ahead and leave your options open.