Friday, September 25, 2015

April's Promise - Day Twenty-Five of the 30/30 Challenge

April's Promise, 
Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico #140 Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, 2015 #27


Day Twenty- Five of the challenge -- another one I have labored on for ages. When I first started this painting I had absolutely no idea that Fabriano Cold Press paper is very very different from Arches Cold Press paper -- in absolutely every aspect. Arches is hard-surfaced, holds pigments applied onto its surface relatively well, because the pigments do sink into its paper fibers quite a bit -- and because of this the colors do seem to get a little bit duller as the applied washes dry and sink in, also it is difficult to lift colors from this paper, especially if you are using some of the staining ones such as Thalo or Alizarin Crimson. Fabriano Artistico paper, on the other hand, only keeps pigment on its very soft surface, which makes lifting easy -- even lifting back to the paper white is possible without actually damaging the paper surface, but wet-in-wet glazing difficult as the underlying colors have a tendency to lift off if you wet the paper again! Also, soft-surfaced paper dry at a speed much faster than hard-surfaced paper, as the latter has a lot of surface sizing and prevent drying by absorption to a certain degree. I have since learned my lesson -- the painful way, as I labored my way through this little piece, throwing my brush onto the ground numerous times as the applied wash simply refuse to do what I want it to. Luckily, I was taking some classes with the amazing watercolor artist, Jeannie Vooden when I started this painting. And I have learned the patient blending of very thin, watery washes wet-on-dry in her class. I modified this method by trial and error to use on the Fabriano paper, learning complete different painting techniques and procedures that would suit the temperament of this delicate paper... I have learned so much through the process!

Looking back at this finished piece, I am amazed at how much my method of paint application has changed through the struggle of this little painting. It has literally taught me so much about watercolor, and about myself as a painter. I am grateful for all the struggles it put me through, and feel very proud that I have stuck with it till the end.


  1. Arena -
    This painting is gorgeous!
    I am beginning to experiment with Golden's new Qor watercolors. They seem to have a unique ability to be easily lifted on any surface. ...just a new possibility to consider...
    - Connie

  2. Stunning work :) Thanks for sharing about the papers :)


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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