Transparent Watercolor Glazing
Today I found a beautiful oak leaf that was crying out to be painted with Quinacridone Watercolors. The leaf was at it's peak color and I knew exactly what it needed. Watercolor is loved mostly for its transparent qualities. Not all watercolors are created equal and this starts with pigments. Pigments were first discovered by drying and crushing plants, minerals and even animals. The pigment was added to a ground so that it would adhere to the substrate. The first known paintings were found in caves and were limited to an earth tone color range. Egg tempera was the first medium that produced vivid beautiful color. The fat and protein of the egg yolk mixed with pigments helped it to bond onto plaster, creating frescos. As techniques advanced, gum arabic was discovered and watercolor was born. The size of the pigment particle along with the transparent nature of the pigment make a paint more or less transparent. All manufacturers will list their paints as either transparent, semi-transparent, semi-opaque or opaque. In order for the glaze to be effective the underlying layers of paint must be completely dry, The glaze color must be transparent and the paint must be applied thinly and quickly. The result is the underlying colors will glow through. If any of the 3 qualities is missing the result will be muddy. This is how I knew to use Quinacridone colors for this oak leaf. Quinacridone is a very transparent pigment. The particle size is small and applied in a thin layer on dry paper the result is awesome. The colors that I used were Quinacridone Gold & Permanent Rose. When the 2 colors are mixed together they create a beautiful coral color. I used them separately and mixed together to create variations and sparkle. The beginning layer was done in my wet in wet technique. (See video)
These colors are available from Dick Blick.
This leaf is available for purchase in my Etsy Store.