Welcome to my last blog of 2020 and what a year it has been!
I started my blog back in the spring and those of you who have been following it will know that this year I’ve been enjoying experimenting and developing a looser style. I’m particularly interested in creating textures in my mixed media paintings using granulating watercolours and acrylic ink.
Following my last blog it’s been wonderful to have received several questions asking about the techniques and materials I’ve been using in my looser style of work. So, for today’s blog I thought it might be nice for me to share with you a few of my current favourite watercolours and also to talk about creating texture using acrylic inks with granulation medium.
I’ve also popped a short video onto my Youtube channel if you’d like to see how my current three favourite colours behave and also how I use granulation medium with acrylic inks.
I’ve always been interested in the different properties of each of my watercolour paints. Knowing each of my colour’s characteristics helps me to decide which watercolours to choose for a particular painting. One of these characteristics is granulation, this is where the pigments settle on to the surface of the paper as it dries leaving a slightly mottled appearance.
My current three favourite watercolours.
Although I use a variety of brands of artist quality watercolours my current three favourites are all granulating colours by Daniel Smith. I’ve used all three lots throughout this year.
The first watercolour I’d like to show you is ‘Raw Umber Violet’. It’s a wonderfully rich deep burgundy-brown semi-transparent granulating colour, it makes me think of chestnuts! I love the warmth of Raw Umber Violet both when used for beautifully rich darks and for soft diluted washes.
If you would like to see more of my sketchbook studies please click here.
My second is ‘Moonglow’. This transparent granulating violet is a three-pigment blend that separates beautifully as it dries. I love how this soft violet separates showing blue-greens and pinks within the violet wash. I use quite often in my loose florals as in ‘Fleeting Moment’ below, and I also find it great for landscape shadows.
My favourite and final colour that I’d like to share with you is ‘Sodalite Genuine’. This is a semi-transparent inky colour from Daniel Smith’s PrimaTek range. I love the texture it produces as the semi-precious stone granulates as it dries to a fantastic blue-black speckled appearance on a blue-grey wash. I’ve used this watercolour in a lot of my recent woodland series such as ‘Chestnut Wood’. This is definitely my favourite colour at the moment!
More of my recent woodland series can be seen in my Land, Sea and Sky gallery by clicking here.
Creating texture using granulation medium & acrylics inks
The other technique that I’ve used in many of my watercolour & mixed media paintings over the years is using acrylic inks diluted with granulation medium. There are many brands of granulating mediums and inks, but I’ve always used Winsor & Newton’s granulation medium and Daler Rowney FW inks for this technique. Chestnut Wood (above) is an example of where I have used granulating watercolours and acrylic ink to create texture.
I first make sure the paper is wet, this may be with just water, water along with the addition of granulation medium or a fluid watercolour wash, before adding the ink, otherwise it will stain! Once I’ve dropped the ink onto the wet surface, I dilute it with plenty of granulation medium. I find it useful to have a pipette full of granulation medium before I add the ink so that I can dilute it before it starts to stain the paper! This has an amazing effect of separating the ink producing a wonderful speckled effect.
When running classes or workshops I always ask people to place ink bottles into a tray just in case any get knocked over, I should have followed my own advice!
It would be great to hear if you have a favourite colour.
I’ve popped some links to the Daniel Smith colours used in this blog below if they are of interest to you –
I look forward to sharing more of my ideas, thoughts & inspirations with you next year.
I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.