Abstract Watercolor Painting Demo 3

Abstract Watercolor Painting Demo 3

For this non-objective (no reference to subject matter) painting I will be utilizing an analogous color combination of yellow green, green, blue-green and blue. The yellow-green and green I will use as my accent colors (mostly yellow-green), and the blue-green and blue will dominate the remainder of the painting.

QoR Watercolor; 300lb Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper-Cold Press (half-sheet, 22x15); 2” nylon brush; 1” Kolinsky Sable brush; 1” nylon brush; corrugated plastic sheet backing board.

The Painting
I begin the painting by wetting the back and front of the paper, then I sqeegee out some of the water using a damp sponge. This leaves the paper damp without a wet surface.

I have a rough value study that I will use as a jumping off point for the composition, but I will not strictly adhere to it. Once I get the main shapes in, I only look at the painting, because that’s all that matters.

I begin adding cool colors randomly across the page (blues and blue-greens), using the value study as a guide. I then lay in some darker values, again roughly according to the value study. Once complete, I take time to dry the surface of the paper with a hair dryer, leaving the core of the paper still damp.

I then reinforce my dark values so that they really pop. Then I mix some yellow-green and bright green that I will use for my center of interest areas. I lay in those colors based on the placement of the dark values, trying to get the greatest contrast of dark value against my accent color. I add some scraping for linear elements, then reinforce some secondary shapes randomly using blues and blu-greens.

As I paint, I notice a couple of areas where I can pull off some paint to create negative shape “lines”. So I use a nylon brush loaded with water and wash out a few areas for some really subtle detail that strengthens my shapes overall. I add a few detail lines with a small brush, and the painting is complete.

While I edited the video for time, the painting only took me about 20 minutes. You saw nearly the entire process. Note that I used a 2” brush for everything except the center of interest color and the line details. I kept the painting and colors loose and fresh, and allowed the watercolor to do what it does best.

It was great fun to paint, and I hope the demo was helpful for you.

If you'd like to learn about abstract painting, then please join me for a painting workshop: (You can view a list of 2019 workshops HERE)

  • March 27-29, 2019 Amarillo Art Institute, Amarillo, TX. For information and registration contact Rachel Flores, Email: director@amarilloartinstitute.org. Click HERE for more information.

  • April 12-14, 2019 Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, Florence, AL. For information and registration contact Christi Britton. Email: cbritton@florenceal.org.

  • April 24-26, 2019 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. For information and registration. FULL-Waiting List

  • May 10-12, 2019 New Braunfels Art Center, New Braunfels, TX. For information and registration Click Here.

  • May 16-18, 2019 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. Mentorship Workshop. For information and registration Click Here.

  • June 12-14 David M. Kessler Fine Art Workshop, Winston-Salem, NC. For information and registration Click Here.

  • June 20-22 Floyd Art Center, Floyd, VA. For information and registration Click Here.

As always, thanks for your support!


P.S. If you you'd like to learn more about Abstract Painting in the comfort of your home or studio, I have a great course called Abstract Painting Academy available for you:

Abstract Painting Academy is the next best thing to a live workshop event. You can find out more by Clicking Here.

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