Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Experimental WIP ( picture rev. 11 Aug.2011)

WIP: Orchids in Glass Plate
As mentioned in my previous post, I am working on a new experiment with varnished watercolor. This time, I've attached the paper (Fabriano  Soft Pres s- 140lb) to the16" X 16" X 1" wood panel before painting. I prepared the wood panel the same way as I prepared it for my strawberry panels ( sealer, gesso, acrylic medium as glue).  I have hours and hours of work left, but there is enough painting done to give you an idea. Naturally, once completed, the painting will still need to be varnished. It could then be displayed as is or, perhaps, framed in a floating frame ( I'll see what I can find to fit the panel).

The reference picture is from WetCanvas. It is sometimes difficult to see in the picture how the glass plate/bowl should be painted. When in doubt, I invented shapes and colors:-) So far, I find that the painting looks a bit too busy...once all the yellow petals are put in, maybe this impression will decrease...

Why the change in process? 
  • I wanted to see if the paper and paint would behave differently: they certainly do! Painting this way is very similar to working on the Canson Arches board I used for my Gate Keeper, but the effects are somewhat accentuated in this set up: the paper dries very quickly; it is hard to do smooth blending and even lifting.  
  • I wanted to know if the paper would remain glued down during the painting process: I had some issues with paper lifting around the edges where I had to do several dark washes; however, the paper went right back down. In one case, I added acrylic medium with a toothpick. Will the painting remain glued over time? I think the varnishing will help seal the edges; I will also try to put a thin line of acrylic medium around the edges as an extra precaution.
Do I like the process/results so far? Maybe I should simply start working with acrylics:-)
  • To tell you the truth, I'm not sure:-) This method provides a super strong and flat surface to paint on. The colors really keep their intensity a lot more than usually. However, there may be a decrease in the transparency of the resulting painting..or is it because I used so many layers?   
  • I am finding it harder to have nice blending of colors.
What do you think? Does it look like a watercolor? Do you like the effect?



  1. I enjoyed reading what you are experimenting with. I think we all like to try different surfaces and always want archival and good quality. Although I don't know much about watercolors, this one looks beautiful so far. Love the colors. Enjoy learning through your blog:)

  2. Good for you on experimenting!

    The only thing which strikes me as odd for a watercolour is the slice of green on the top right, But I don't know if that is the experimental technique doing that or not. It seems a little too "blocky" for a normal w/c.

  3. I'm reading your posts with much interest and of course, I always enjoy seeing your work I hope you will share more of your experiences about painting on paper glued to a board.

  4. Kathy: Thank you for your support. I am really looking for an alternative to framing watercolors under glass. Maybe I should simply switch to acrylics:-)

    Pat: Thank you for your comment. I have uploaded a new picture with more color in that dark green portion of the glass. Does it look less blocky now?

    Ann: I will certainly post the results of my experiments with glued paper. It would be a nice option if it worked.

  5. I really enjoy watching your experiments as I learn so much. I too am experimenting with varnishing watercolors and various methods to paint on. has some very good deals on floater frames and great service but I think his is for 3/4 inch and 1&1/2 inch depths.

  6. It's so nice to hear from you, Vicki. One of these days, I hope that I will find a method I really like to paint with my watercolors and to display without glass without having to compromise on the nature of the watercolor:-) I do believe that I may have difficulty finding a floating frame with the 1" depth...