W A T E R C O L O R    P O U R S

What is pouring?

This technique has captivated my imagination and is a call to adventure for me.  I was getting stuck in my over-fussy detail and wanted to loosen up, so I tried learning this technique from a couple different artists, and kind of made it my own.  The funny thing is, that I’m still fussy with detail, but pouring has an element of being “out of control” in what the paint does, so I get to have a bit of “controlled out-of-control-ness.” 

I identify the paintings in my gallery as “Watercolor Pour” when I use this technique. 

How it works.
1.      I find one of my photos that seems luminous with lots of light and dark contrast.  I sketch it onto my watercolor paper
2.      I choose three colors as my triad palette.  Most of the pours you see in my gallery are my standard triad of Winsor Blue, Holbein Carmine and Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold, though I also love to use Daniel Smith’s Primatek Genuine pigments because of their sedimentary nature. 
3.      I create liquid watercolors by watering down two consistencies of each pure pigment to resemble that of heavy cream (darker) and skim milk (lighter). 
4.      I get my paper wet with a big brush and start with the lightest value first, usually the yellow, though all three get very light when using wet on wet.  By not premixing the colors and pouring one at a time, they blend vibrantly on the paper and do their own thing. 
5.      I let the first pour dry completely.  I use masking fluid to paint out the areas that I want to preserve as lightest, and then let it dry completely. 
6.      I continue to alternate pouring different layers of paint and masking out the range of lights to mediums, building from light to dark (drying completely between steps).   Some of these paintings have as few as three pours, and others have as many as ten. 
7.      When the darkest darks have been achieved, I remove the masking fluid and it’s like Christmas!  I never know what I’ll find because my memory leaves out so much in the process, just being present to each step.  Sometimes it’s scary and doesn’t work, and most of the time it’s magical. 
8.      I touch up, lift, soften edges, and direct paint with the same watercolor pigments to finish the painting. The less direct painting I do, the fresher these pours are to me. 
Naturally there is more to it, and I’ve lost many paintings in my attempts and learned along the way.  I’ve had the privilege of teaching this technique at Sagebrushers Art Society, and hope to do so again.

P A I N T I N G  O N  Y U P O:

Why Yupo?

I was introduced to Yupo through the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s (WSO) Spring Conventions and juried exhibits, where several artists were experimenting with this unusual paper.  My mother had been having a wonderful time painting on Yupo and wanted to share it with me on a visit to paint with her. 

My very first attempt at Yupo was sitting at her kitchen table, assuming I’d just be practicing and learning how it worked.  What came out of it was a delightful painting, Forest Magic, that became one of my favorites, and got juried in to the WSO Spring Experimental Convention Exhibit in 2017.  I couldn’t believe it!  I attribute it to the fact that I wasn’t attempting to make a sharable painting, so I had no constraints or inhibitions, which was ultimately a big lesson for me! 

I love the speed in which this paper allows me to paint, drying quickly and creating effects that are unique to Yupo.   The beauty (and danger) is that you can wipe off what you don’t like and start again, particularly in saving whites and lights.  The brilliance of the white paper amplifies the vivid transparency and colors are truly luminous.  It’s great fun, if you don’t get too attached to how you think it should go.  It has a life of its own!  Another adventure!

I identify these paintings in my gallery with “on Yupo.”


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 jenniferstarrSisters, OR206-852-5285

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