Sunday, June 17, 2012

Work in Progress: High Summer Dreams II (Almost Finished!...)

The process of putting overpainting layers wet-in-wet is both exuberant and nerve-wrecking -- to created a truly integrated look, and avoid a hard-edged line between each petal and every leaf blade, it is important to wet as large an area of varied objects and backgrounds between time as possible, and drop in dense passages of color to create soft but recognizable boundaries between them. Since it is much harder to maintain wetness in a larger surface area, and manipulate different colors across them, sometimes it is vital to find inconspicuous "stopping points" -- small areas that do not draw the eye directly and therefore ideal for one wet passages to stop and another to begin. Since you are painting thickly, there is not too much chance to fiddle around or modify with further glazes after one passage has dried and the color or value do not turn out to be the correct one, which is the nerve-wrecking part...

It took about five wet-in-wet passages to arrive at the stage shown in WIP 6 from WIP 5. I have chosen areas separated by relatively light areas and contained by hard edges -- usually reserved for the center of focus in my paintings -- as areas to be wet at once.

High Summer Dreams II, Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 10"h x 14"w, WIP 6

Here in WIP 7, I'm only one wetting away from WIP 6 -- I've painted the upper left side of leaves and backgrounds between the leaf blades. My stopping point on the right is the area directly above the top left side petals of the flower. It/s a lighter area with relatively complicated shapes, complicated enough that the "line of boundary" between two wettings can be hidden quite easily without catching the viewer's eye. My other stopping point, at the bottom of this shape, is a darker passage which would border another dark passage beneath it. I've found that painting two dark area side by side usually can hide the boundary line quite well, although care needs to be taken not to wet into the previously painted darker passages too much to induce color lifting.

High Summer Dreams II, Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper, 10"h x 14"w, WIP 7

It's really close to finish now. I'm quite excited to see how it would turn out!


  1. Oh my gosh Arena, this is SO gorgeous!! I love it so much. You are an expert at manipulating wet into wet areas for maximum impact. I'm gonna go look at it again. :)))

    And thank you dear Arena for your so kind comment on my blog today. *hugs*

  2. This is amazing, Arena. I had to go back a few posts to follow what you'd been doing to the painting. It really is gorgeous, and I look froward to the grand finale.

  3. I find it amazing what you are achieving. Enjoying following the process.


Thank you so much for taking time visiting and commenting on my blog! Your feedback and encouragements are things that keep me going with I am feeling down or frustrated... I will try my best to reply to every comment ASAP but sometimes life gets in the way and I am a bit slow in my response. I would like to apologize if that happens...

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