Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Mushrooms again - trying out a new watercolour paper.

The last few days I have been free from my job, so after all the household chores were finished I wanted to paint. For these occasions I have an album with lots of mushroom pictures made by my husband or my daughter during autumnal walks. I just have to select one, think about how I want to paint this and get started.
Last year I bought a small block with Canson Montval paper, because of the convenient small size, ideal to bring with me on vacations. I did not need it last vacation so I decided to try the paper now. This time I used a reference made by my husband Peter.

The first - dark - painting is made in my usual manner: soaking and stretching my paper and then painting with a lot of water. The paper did not take that very well so I put a note on the block reminding me not to soak the paper before using it. After soaking it looked like the paper was pilling and I am not used to that.
I have tried to paint the background first and that too was a challenge, but after several stages of adding colour, washing with water, spreading out the colour and repeating where possible the background may be overworked, but it could be worse. Then I added the colours of the mushrooms and used a wooden pricker to draw the lines on the hoods of the mushrooms. 

The second painting was made on dry paper that had not been soaked and stretched. I started with the mushrooms and added the background colours later. having learned from the first painting, I did not try to make a dark, dramatic background but just added some colour variations by changing the mixture of blue, yellow and some Burnt Sienna that gives the green of the mosses under the mushrooms. And even here I had to be careful not to use too much water. For extra texture I splattered over the green mosses with the mixture I used for the mushrooms.
To make the mushrooms stand out I used Calligraphy Ink for some of the outlines and the lines on the hoods.

I have learned a lot about this watercolour paper - at least what I can not do with it and I will use it again of course, probably with the wash-and-ink technique or watercolour pencils.

More information about these paintings can be found at my website 

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