art, art classes, botanical art, flowers, Val Webb, watercolor, workshops
My online class in Watercolor Lettering has kept me very busy for the past several weeks, but on Saturday I had the pleasure of teaching a small workshop in a beautiful riverfront hideaway near Moss Point, Mississippi. The trees overhanging the water were full of trumpet vine, and we put them to use as the subject of gouache resist paintings. I love gouache resist, which is the art equivalent of opening a mysterious present on Christmas morning. You don’t know what you have until the wrappings are torn away to reveal the surprise beneath. In my method, I begin with a quick pencil sketch on heavy watercolor paper. Next I create the painting with a very thick (we’re talking peanut-butter-thick here) layer of gouache. After allowing it the dry completely, the painting is covered in a layer of waterproof India ink — I use a two-inch housepainting brush for this step. That has to dry, as well, before the fun begins: I take the piece outside and put it under a stream of water from the garden hose, scrubbing the ink away with the aforementioned house painting brush. Under that layer of inky blackness is a jewel-toned image, and everywhere the paper remained blank are lines of India ink. Old clothes are highly recommended for this adventure!
shady gardener said:
What an exciting process, Val!! (Loving the watercolor class… even though I’m pokey!)
Mindy Lighthipe said:
What a beautiful result. Let me get this right…… You paint everywhere that we are seeing color in a thick layer of gouache…. all the colors, leaves, flowers and background. Then you let that paint dry. Then you paint a coat of black waterproof ink over the painting and let that dry….. and then you scrub the heck out of it?
I really like the appearance. It almost looks like your raku tiles…… which btw are just beautiful!
Val Webb said:
Yes! It’s so much fun to wash the solid black surface off and discover the “new” image underneath. For best results, let the gouache painting dry for 24 hours before adding the India ink. Then let THAT dry for another 24. However, we have done it pretty successfully in a three-hour class — but you have to scrub lightly in that case. A step-by-step photo demo is on my “to do” list. Hoping to get to it in the next few weeks.
Mindy Lighthipe said:
I will have to try this sometime. It looks like fun. Thanks for the clarification and I look forward to the video.
M Todd said:
I think I would like to try this – love the “stained glass effect”. Could you share the brand of ink you use? I have some waterproof acrylic ink (not India) but am afraid that might not work. Also did you use 140 or 300 lb WC paper? Last – any tips on dry these so that they don’t buckle (since highly saturated with water I assume there could be come buckling)? I think I will give this a go as a President’s Day weekend project!