Monday, April 30, 2012

Trying out Watercolor on Coarse Handmade Paper

About a year ago, I read about Khadi paper on someone's blog (sorry I really don't remember whose it was) and decided to order some with the idea of using it in a handmade book, but when it arrived, it was so coarse I didn't think it would do. I put it up on a shelf and forgot about it. That is, until this weekend. I was rummaging around in my stash of paper to find something to do some practicing on and rediscovered this paper.  First I tried a couple of still life paintings without sketching first.

This began as an apple and a pear, but I thought the apple looked more like a tomato so added a tomato-like stem. This one is in traditional watercolor with just a bit of Neocolor II in the shadow area.

This one started out as a pear, but turned into a vase, with a pear beside it and then a silver watering can behind. This one was done completely with Neocolor IIs with just a touch of water added afterward.

Last evening I decided to try a beach scene on a larger piece of the same paper. I began by thoroughly wetting both sides of the paper. I had already penciled in a light sketch. The watercolors didn't act at all like I wanted them to. I ended up putting random spots of blue and gray in the sky and then spritzing it. I then did a quick color blocking of the middle and foreground.

The horizon line needs a bit of straightening.

I've decided to treat this as an underpainting and work over it either with soft pastels or Neocolors. I think overall I like the composition, but not the colors.

Late, late last night I did some sketches on watercolor paper and a quick sketch in a journal, but those will have to wait for another day. I'm going to get a bite before exercise class and just sit for a bit and catch up on the blogs to which I subscribe.



  1. I really like these experiments. It's interesting to see what a new paper will and won't do. Your seascape is really nice, and in fact I do like the colors!

  2. I love how inquisitive and adventurous you are with your art. I wonder if the paper is without sizing. That may affect how it responds to water. hugs, nancy

  3. I knew a watercolor artist who used this paper for his landscapes and did beautiful work. I found it more absorbent than I wanted when I tried it but I guess, with practice, you can make it your own. Thanks for sharing - I like that something began as something - and became something else - which means you took a "problem" and made it work for you :)

  4. Very nice. I don't know if you have figs where you live, but the one you are calling a vase, I am calling a fig. Now, I am hungry. :-)

  5. I'm actually quite impressed that you managed to turn two pears successfully into other objects! When I've tried that sort of thing, the items always come out look less like either. :)

    I like the first one the best, it looks very smooth and finished.