Tara Choate painted with watercolors today using a technique that made a vibrant, colorful painting, and was also a lot of fun to watch. To create the background of her painting, she mixed her paints with water and poured them directly onto the paper (140lb cold pressed watercolor paper). She picked up the paper and tilted it from side to side to make the colors flow across the surface. Before pouring her paint, Tara had drawn the silhouette of a stork and filled it in with masking fluid, a liquid that dries quickly to a rubbery film. The masking fluid blocked the areas of the page that she wanted to remain white as she poured three colors of paint (bright pink, gamboge yellow, and ultramarine blue), one at a time over the paper.
After letting the wet paper dry for a while, Tara removed the masking fluid with a rubber “pick-up,” leaving the white shape of the stork to paint details and shading into. The process of painting with watercolors can require a lot of patience because if the paper and paint are not fully dry, adding more paint can result in the newly added colors flowing uncontrollably into previous colors. A wet brush applied to wet paper and paint can also pull up the color, leaving light spots in the painting. Tara gave each stage of her painting time to dry and took advantage of these breaks to look at her work so far and think about her next steps.
To define the details of the stork’s wings, feathers, and body, Tara used only one color, indigo, to contrast with the white paper that she had preserved with her masking fluid. Tara said indigo has become one of her favorite colors to paint with.
Tara’s favorite subjects to paint are animals. Her love for her animal subjects really shows in the vitality and energy she brought into the piece she made today.
Click on thumbnails to see larger pictures.