Saturday, 17 March 2018

Wet in Wet fun

So a little while since I updated my and stuff getting in the way but hoping to get back to it in the future.

I have been playing with wet in wet and decided that although it isn't a technique I often use, that doesn't mean I shouldn't share it with my group so this is the painting we did last week which I have finished today. 

I tend to create washes on the paper so although I don't usually go into wet paper I do end up using a lot of water. Wet in wet is an extension of that really in that the paper is wet to start with and the idea is you drop paint in letting it mix and mingle on the paper and I know many of you may use this technique for skies and backgrounds etc. However when doing skies, the paper isn't usually as wet as it was in the following painting and with others I have done using this technique.

This photo was one from a very talented wildlife photographer...Gary Jones

I decided swans lent themselves very well to this technique as the subject matter to me seems to call for smooth lines and transitions which again isn't my usual style as I love texture but wet in wet does create lovely smooth washes which is what I was looking for here.

The idea is to wet the paper thoroughly, letting the water soak in for 5 minutes or want the paper wet but not dripping when you work like this and any areas where you want to reserve the white of the paper can be done either by not wetting that area (bearing in mind this will give you a hard edge) or by lifting the paint with a thirsty brush,, which is what I did with this painting.

As the paper starts to dry you can then begin to add can only add hard edges when the paper is completely dry but working when it is still damp will allow you to get some soft edges where paint will bleed slightly into the surrounding areas.

Good painting is a mix of soft lost and found edges so this way of working does allow you to get a good mix of edges.

In this painting you can see soft edges to the right behind the neck...both lost and soft edges around the feathers and hard edges around the neck and head where I want the focus to be.

This was a very limited palette,Daniel Smith Ultramarine Turquoise, Winsor Lemon and Winsor Violet. I am adding some DS colours to my palette and this is a gorgeous colour, a bit greener than W&N Pthalo Turquoise and though I don't prefer it, it adds a different colour to anything else I already have so I will have fun trying to find combinations of colours I like using this new one.
Limited palettes work well for wet in wet... as the colour is mixing on the paper, there is a rainbow of colour you can achieve with all sorts of variations and I would urge anyone reading this to give it a go. 

The group seemed to really enjoy working like this so we may well do more in future, it can be tricky as understanding when to go in with what concentration of paint, is key and as always too much working with the brush can cause a muddy a challenge but we did get some very nice results. 


  1. Judith, this was really an eye opener for me. This will make a real difference to me. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for giving me new challenges and opening up a world of knowledge to do better💓

    1. Many thanks Valsa...we were all struggling artists one day and I remember those struggles very well which is why it is important to me to share the things I know!!

  2. Stunning art piece would like to know type of W/C paper and gsm. Thanks for the inspiration. Great work

    1. I used 300gsm (140lb) Bockingford extra rough for this...delighted you like!

  3. I have yet to try the Daniel Smith watercolours. I've just bought a set of oils to try for the first time so more watercolours may have to wait. I love the look of this technique, very dreamy. I'm glad you have started blogging again - I've just started again too so it seeems like I'm coming back at a good time.


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