Marion Chapman’s Watercolour course 4

Make a composition from torn and crumpled lunch wrap
Objective: To create an imaginary landscape from 3 pieces of torn and crumpled lunch wrap pressed into a wet wash which will create random and unpredictable marks and textures. Marion asked us to create a lead-in from the left hand corner to carry the viewer into the image.
Colours: Viridian green, Magenta and Ultramarine blue, a triadic colour scheme with two primary colours and viridian (a secondary colour). The Viridian and Magenta whilst not true complimentary colours create a pleasing semi neutral grey.
Technique: Using plenty of water to wet down the paper I laid down a wet on wet wash, using all three colours then into the wet puddle quickly pressed the torn and crumpled lunch wrap. After several hours of drying I removed the lunch wrap.

Imaged landscape, not a good result
This was my first attempt. After looking for clues amongst the marks on the paper to make an interesting image I greyed off some areas to make them distant. I found some tree shapes which I emphasised with negative painting. I used a knife to scrape highlights to make a distant waterfall. However it didn’t work for me and was a disappointing result. I include it here only to show how I arrived at my final image.

Imagined Fish
This is my second attempt. Same composition, same washes, same technique. After removing the lunch wrap and looking at it for a while I saw the vague shape of a fish head. After determining where the eye should be I lifted pigment added an eye and made a few marks to further define a mouth and a fin. The second fish in the background was not quite as successful but I am quite pleased with the result considering I only added a few details. I started off trying to create a landscape following my disappointing first attempt, then a brief flash of inspiration lead me on a completely different path.

Thanks Marion, a great exercise it did help me understand that water and pigments will do what they will and we must be prepared change course and follow happy accidents wherever they lead us.



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