Saturday, August 29, 2015

Window Study...or a New Coat of Paint

A New Coat of Paint
8 x 10 inches on 140 lb watercolour paper, using various watercolour brands,
some watercolour pencils, and a bit of acrylic paint. Reference is my photo.

On the heels of my previous piece, Grackle-attitude, I wanted to continue to explore uses of wax coloured pencils with other media. I decided I wanted to do a watercolour piece that had architectural elements needing straight lines. I picked an old photo of a historic Nashville building, that was going under renovation. The window that was my focus was an old double hung was open both from the top and bottom allowing a breeze to flow thru.

I sketched out the window and laid in lines and curves of the window and curtain with liquid misket....showing here as a greenish grey. In addition I lined off some of the straight lines and bricks with a white wax coloured pencil. If you look closely you can see the bricks embossed with the white coloured pencil.

I wet the paper and slapped it onto plexi glass, and taped it all down after applying my first washes. You can easily see where the white wax coloured pencil resisted the watercolour wash on the bricks, in addition to where the liquid misket was located.

After a couple of more watercolour washes, I removed the liquid misket and lightly erased on the colored pencil bricks to remove puddled dried watercolour. Now I could see where I needed to go next to firm up the window and surrounding wall. I was especially pleased with the top portion of the window, showing the upper arch's depth. I had done a line of the wax white coloured pencil just under the frame, that got covered with my wash. I later was able to gently lift that watercolour residue off the white pencil line. It made it look half in and half out of shadow.

Before I finished the watercolour study, I took a waste piece of watercolor paper, and drew four lines. The first one was a white wax coloured pencil line. Next I left blank. Then I drew a white wax coloured pencil line and I put a bead of liquid misket on top of that. Then finally I drew a line of misket only. I did a light wash of blue over all four lines. When dry, in the blank space I'd left, I drew a line of wax coloured pencil over the blue wash.

After that I lightly brushed a second red watercolour wash diagonally across the paper and lines.When that dried, I erased the first colored pencil line and it came off very clean. The next line over wash I also erased, and again came off very nicely, showing the blue wash underneath. I removed the last two misket lines, and found not a lot of difference in the line. I think that the reserved white from a wax coloured pencil line is most effective when I want that line to remain white (or whatever color I've used). If I want to just “reserve” the white to later apply watercolor over then misket seems the best, tho' the line won't be as straight as the wax coloured pencil. I also like the idea of using the wax colored pencil OVER an already laid down watercolour wash. All these bits of info will play into my next watercolour project.

For the finish of this piece, I added in additional “bricks” of various hues around the picture's main focal point. I had reserved the white paper for the new coat of paint on the lower right ledges, but felt it needed something else to 'splain the title. I took a dab of white acrylic paint and applied it over a regular square of bricks to signify that the old distressed bricks were getting a new coat of white paint.

I enjoyed fooling around with the watercolour and the wax colored pencil. It's yet another neat tool in my artistic toolbox.


  1. I believe that John Singer Sargent used wax crayons as a resist in his watercolor painting "White Ships" 1908.

    1. Hi KandskisArt
      What a neat art tibit! I had no idea. John Singer Sargent's watercolours are an ongoing inspiration. The glow he gets in the shadows of his buildings.....YUM! Thanks for stopping by.