Painting: water-based pigments

Yesterday I went for my second water-colour painting class.  What can I say?  I’ve done part of an on-line course and last month I did the ‘Absolute Beginners’ first class.  Yesterday was the second and final one.

Here’s the result:

You might just be able to spot the sheets on the fire last night – that was all they were good for.  OK, let’s accept that I’m not going to be a master painter and leave this experience where it belongs – in the past.

However, I’ve had a couple of other water-based painting experiences recently that have been interesting.

I recently sat with a group of people exploring Lindys Stamp Gang Magicals.  Described on their website as dye based powders packed with vibrant shimmery colours you have the option to buy them in a tiny ‘salt’ shaker which enables lovely blending of colours.

What interested me was some of the effects I had seen in an art journal by a well-known Australian scrapbooker.  Whilst I’m not interested in scrapbooking I love her journal pages and the flow of colour and effects across them.

So I joined a 30 minute trial using some of the Magicals (her journals also include the use of other colouring products).  The colour range is huge and they dry fast, keeping their vibrancy.  We sprinkled the pigments onto 300gsm water-colour paper and spritzed with water.

On the left I have used red, green and yellow ochre shakers, spritzed, and angled the paper so they run together to some extent.  The green in particular has partially separated into the base yellow and blue, giving more depth to the colour range.

On the right I only used bright yellow and black shakers.  Wow what a lovely colour range once wet and blended.

The products weren’t for sale on the day so I came home, met with a couple of other friends, and spent an afternoon trying to get similar effects using some Brusho water-colours I already own.

These come as dry powders, but not in shakers (well not when I bought them anyway) and they are flat colours, not shimmery.  The website has a ton of great video tutorials.

I took my water-colour paper, a small spoon to sprinkle with and a couple of spritzers, and got to work.

A bit heavy-handed.  The powder is super highly concentrated but without proper shakers it’s hard to avoid small clumps of pigment which create such a deep colour.

They’re looking better but I quickly learned that I need to use yellow in nearly every one because most other colours make the paper too dark too quickly.

Some lovely colour mixes which I would quite like to print over, in black – create some drama.

Next I’ll wet the paper first so the sprinkled colours spread with spidery tendrils.  Then, later, I’ll mix the pigments into water before applying them to the surface, as that way I can control the strength of colour more accurately.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
This entry was posted in My Creative Pieces, My painting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Painting: water-based pigments

  1. nolaarcher says:

    They look great, dry! Even the darker ones look good. I wonder what they’d be like with white printing on them?
    I have some very ancient pigments that I used to make up into paints for the kids when they were small, um, about 35 years ago! They are much paler now (I’ve used them on cotton fabric a couple of years ago and got pastels) but they still give some colour. So many possibilities to try!

  2. Gillian says:

    Don’t worry about not liking what you created- so much else is good xx made me smile when I saw the fireplace!, xx

  3. I like the fireplace! shame about the paintings…

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