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Painting Away the Winter


Painting is a definite joy when it's cold and snowy outside. It isn't even chilly, it is downright cold here in the Midwest. I went to put gas in the car one morning and the gas pump wouldn't even dispense gas it was so cold. There has been light snow off an on, an inch or two at a time. With this weather, there just isn't too much you can do outside for very long. So that leaves more time for painting! I am working on a technique called underpainting. Watercolor paints can't be erased and they can't be covered, only darkened or made more opaque. So if you make a mistake, that's it. Watercolor can also be challenging to create contrast and depth with. When you paint, you mix pigment with the water. If you have very little water, you get a strong color. But the water is what creates the trademark watercolor 'look'. So deep color and the watercolor look together are hard to create. And the illusion of depth is very often created with strong darker colors.


So, with all of these things in mind, I wanted to create some pieces with more depth that also maintained the watercolor look. Hence, the underpainting technique. This technique requires a lot of preplanning about which object will be in the foreground, and which in the background. The foreground items are lighter and the backgrounds darker. Wanting to push myself a little, I made multiple layers. The results were so pleasing! I ended up making 4 seasonal thank you cards using the technique. The final pieces will be on the site in a week or so.

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