The combination of a striking centre of interest with a soft, misty background can be a powerful recipe for a stunning composition. To achieve this is it hard to beat the combination of masking fluid and the wet-into-wet watercolour technique. In producing a strong contrast between the soft, ethereal misty background and the hard-edged focal point you will be creating a really head-turning image.
This watercolour of Hisley Bridge on the edge of Dartmoor illustrates the effectiveness of painting masking fluid over the bridge before doing any painting, then applying very fluid washes wet-into-wet for the background, bringing the wash down over the bridge with impunity, as you can lift off the masking fluid once it has dried and hey presto! the bridge appears again. The sense of mood has been accentuated by limiting the background colours in the wet-into-wet wash, with warmer colours being applied in the bridge and foreground.
If you are interested in this particular scene there is a stage-by-stage demonstration of the painting in my book Painting Wild Landscapes in Watercolour, published by HarperCollins, and for more information see my website.
On Friday 7th June I shall be demonstrating at Patchings Art & Craft Festival, in the St Cuthberts Mill marquee at 11am, and the Search Press marquee at 3pm, then again on Saturday morning at 11 am in the St Cuthberts Mill marquee. On each occasion I’ll be using the marvellous Saunders Waterford High White paper manufactured by St Cuthberts Mill, with whom I’ve worked for a great many years now. You can take it from me that when you are demonstrating you have to have total faith in the paper, and Waterford has never let me down.
Sadly Jenny won’t be at Patchings this time as she has not been well. It’s a great disappointment as she loves demonstrating at the festival, but hopefully she’ll be back in action at next year’s event.