Abstract Watercolor Painting Demo 5

Abstract Watercolor Painting Demo 5

For this non-objective (no reference to subject matter) painting I will be utilizing a triadic color combination of blue-green, red-violet and yellow-orange. Blue-green will be my dominant color, red-violet will be the non-dominant color and yellow-orange will be the accent color.

QoR Watercolor; 300lb Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper-Cold Press (half-sheet, 22x15); 2” nylon brush; 1” Kolinsky Sable 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 mix up a red-violet using Dioxazine Purple and Quinacridone Red. I also put out several blu-greens including Viridian, Cobalt Teal and some Phthalo Green mixed with a bit of red to neutralize it slightly.

I begin adding the violet and blue-greens randomly across the page, using the value study as a guide. I am careful to begin constructing the shapes as I lay in the color, saving some areas of white that will serve as areas of interest. This first wash of color is mostly middle value.

I then lay in some darker values, again roughly according to the value study. I also introduce some light value yellow-orange in the areas that will become my centers of interest. 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 start defining more shapes using a variety of blue-greens. I add more intense yellow-orange for my centers of interest for a little pop. I reinforce the dark red-violet values, add a little splatter and its done.

While I edited the video for time, the painting only took me about 15-20 minutes. You saw nearly the entire process. Note that I used a 2” brush for everything except the center of interest color. 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)

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

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

  • July 10-12 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio-Mentorship Workshop, Winston-Salem, NC. 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:

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