Friday, July 16, 2010

Let us discuss

I started this blog not only for sharing my wtercolors but also for sharing our views and exchange our ideas and whatever knowledge we have aquired through experienence. Your questions on techniques of watercolor painting are most welcome. Please feel free to ask.


  1. Dear sir,
    Is it really necessary to stretch paper before starting a painting even if the thickness is 300gsm? Every book on WC starts with the topic of stretching. Initially I too used to stretch but now I don't.

  2. If the paper is thick enough stretching is not necessary. I never stretch. My method is different. I use a piece of plywood covered with plastic sheet as board. I keep the loose sheet of paper on it ,sketch in minimum of lines turn it over. Sprey water with spray bottle. again turn over and sprey wter on the drawing side.
    Since the paper is wet on both sides it stays stuck to the board till you finish the painting. In wet in wet method always keep a clean piece of cloth or absorbent paper with you to control the flow of colors.
    With sprey bottle you have the better control on the amount of dampness of the paper. Using loose pieces is always better than using pad . Since paper is bounndby all the sides paper will always cockle. In my mthod you dont need very heavy paper. Try it and let me know.

  3. Yes, My guru late Rangaswamy Iyengar,( who was a well known artist in Karnataka) used this method. I use to watch him wet his paper and put it on a plywood board, but he did not use a plastic covering the surface.It used to keep the paper wet through out his working.
    I have a question, recently I tried a water color where I wanted to build a background with several glazings. I used a 30 gsm paper. It took just 2 layers of glaze and when I tried to do the 3 rd layer, the bottom color started dissolving, resulting in a patch. What might be the reason? Was it that I did not wait till it was completely dry?

  4. If you keep wet paper directly on ply , the ply will absorb some water and paper will dry earlier. Another thing is that the other side of paper will get stains, will become yellowish and you will not be able to use it. If U cover ply with a plastic sheet this will not happen . For this reason I recommend plastic.
    When you stretch the paper you lose at least 1/2 inch on all sides. Another half inch on all sides will go when you mount the picture for framing.So the quarter size will be reduced to 9 X 13". That is why I never stretch the paper.

    Glazing should not be carried too far . Two layers is ok. but if you try to add again every time it reduces the transparency and increases the chances of colors getting muddy As you have pointed out that may be the reason. Some of these papers have manufacturing defect, especially the handmade paper.
    Another most important thing is that every time you make the paper wet it loses the sizing. ( sizing is the coating the paper has to stop its absorbance . If paper is not properly sized it absorbs water, making it impossible to paint.) This also can be the reason. You wil have to find out.

  5. Thanks for the answers and tips Sir. You are equally skilled with landscapes and portraits. How much importance do you give to achieving the likeness of the sitter in your portrait painting, especially if its a watercolour?
    Thank you Sir.

  6. Likeness is most important in portrait painting. People who say that model is there only for inspiration deceive themselves and others. If the portrait is commissioned client will not accept if it lacks likeness.
    The likeness in portrait is not the photographic. If different photographers take photographs of a person keepng lighting, camera, angle etc constant the photographs will be same; but if different artists paint the same person keeping everything constant portraits will be very different from each other; and despite the differences you will be able to identify the person. The reason is everyone has painted the essentials leaving out what they felt superficial. Unlike camera everything has not been picked up.
    If the portrait is for competition likeness with the individual is not important. The judges will not compare it with the person for the likeness. They will see your approach, your colors, brshstrokes etc.

  7. श्री. काकडे साहेब, मी येथे art india ला नुकताच जॉईन झालॊ आहेव तुमच्या ब्लॉगवर तर प्रथमच येत आहे. आपली ही चर्चा खूपच छान होत्येय व आम्हा सारख्या दूरस्थांना ती अत्यंत उपयुक्त ठरणार आहे. इथे भेटत राहूच, प्रत्यक्ष कधी भेटताय?