Friday, June 6, 2008

June 6, 2008 Layers of Thoughts

"Cat Tales"
by Cathy Hegman
transparent watercolor

I am intrigued by layers of color. I think it adds depth to a painting both physically and visually. I don't always paint exclusively in layers but I do find I tend to layer some area of every painting. I paint with water media and it is most certainly more agreeable to layers since the drying time between layers is minimal. Layers just add a little something extra to a piece, by creating a depth of color that cannot be exactly named. The most interesting colors are the ones you cannot quite describe with words. They attain a mystery all their own.The layers are also the historical marks you leave on the painting; they are references to a time and place in the creation of the painting. I love to layer one area and have an adjacent area opaque. I find the contrast of the two gives a bit of a vibration to the eye and keeps the painting from being stagnant and dull.
In the above painting, "Cat Tales", layers were used throughout the painting to create not only interesting colors but also to give texture to the piece. I used transparent watercolor only and left the white of the paper as my contrasting opaque passages.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when layering in watercolor or acrylic.
Layer over a dry area. If you attempt to layer before the area is dry you will have not a layer but a mixture of color. It can be quite useful but I think the layers have more depth and brilliance.

Use only transparent or translucent pigments. These are usually marked either on the tube or in the description of the product. The transparency allows the under hue to show through, much like stained glass allows the light through. The translucent pigments give a milky, misty thin layer over the under layer and create a nice transition to the areas around it while still letting the under layer appear.

Keep in mind when you layer the colors opposite each other on the color wheel or the complementary colors they will create more neutralized layers.

When you layer a warm color with a cool color it will cool the painting down and vice versa. You can contrast warm and cool areas in the painting as well as the hues and create vibrancy an interest.
All artwork and text posted on this blog are solely owned and copyrighted by Cathy Hegman and should not be reproduced or copied in any form or fashion without the expressed written permission of Cathy Hegman. Anything included in this blog is solely the personal experience and thoughts of the artist and not meant to be anything more than helpful guidelines for others to read.

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