Art of the Day… a lesson in transparent watercolor.

The artist of this lovely painting was impossible to identify, it had been re-blogged so many times.  However, I am certain it is a watercolor painting. I am also certain that it required, of the artist, an accomplished technical skill…so in honor of this lovely painting, I think I should pass on a little knowledge of watercolor technique.

It appears that the artist used a block out technique and a series of washes.  I find it particularly beautiful, not only for it’s visual expression, but because of the exquisite technique. The technical planning that goes into a watercolor is similar to the technical layering achieved in a silk screen print (serigraph). When working in either medium a constant vigilance to the layering colors and the transparency of the colors is paramount. I would surmise the trees in the foreground were blocked out first, with a layers of light washes as more trees were blocked out to create the depth. These block out areas, meaning an area covered with a masking substance  used to protect the paper as layers of pigment are applied, must be planned first. Notice the small areas of sky, that area would also have to be planned first. A somewhat crazy watercolor purist attitude is the use of technique such as this, never would those trees have been painted with an opaque medium later, however, the white line of light in the very back is probably opaque watercolor. My professor, Thomas Currey, a transparent watercolor purist to the core might have allowed that one line of opaque, but rest assured, he never would have allowed two.

  Like all good design it is all in the planning.

If anyone happens to recognize this work I would appreciate the name of the artist, as I am unable to recognize the style.

Crush Cul de Sac.

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