Apple Blossoms In Spring Watercolor
Painting - Watercolor On Masa Paper
Apple Blossoms painted in watercolor on masa paper with batik-like crackle.
This is watercolor on Masa paper, which gives you a faux "batik" crackle for your background, which you do in the prep stage. I did one version and my crackle was too pale, and when I was painting the image, all my crackle disappeared. I did another background to paint the same image and got pretty good crackle. It's an interesting medium to paint on, for sure, and every time I do, I learn something new about what NOT to do! Painted using Ultramarine Blue, Aureolin, Gamboge, Permanent Rose, Burnt Umber, and a tiny amount of Quin. Gold.
For any of you painters interested in Masa, here are some things I've learned:
Masa, being a type of rice paper, is semi-translucent. A good way to get good crackle on Masa is to put a penciled X in the top corner of the back of the sheet, which feels "fuzzy". The front side feels smooth. Then, after you wad the paper up and soak it in water to begin to add the crackle color, you lay the sheet out on paper towels with the fuzzy side UP. The X is important because once you wet the paper, you can't tell which side was the fuzzy side. Use fairly dark colors and paint on the fuzzy side. The cracks and creases that were formed when you wadded the paper up and soaked it in water will create the crackle, and the rest of the color will show through lightly. Once you've got the colors you want placed where you want them, place the paper smooth side UP on a prepared backer sheet that you coat with glue (2-1 mix of school glue to water works well. Depending on the size sheet you're working with, it would help to have a second set of hands to lift the very wet Masa, flip it over, and position it on the backer. I staple my backer sheet to a work board so it's all ready for glue application as soon as I get my color laid down on the back of the Masa sheet. You can use multiple colors, judging where you want crackle in different colors to appear. The more tightly you wad the paper and the darker you paint on the back, the more crackle you will get. Let this wet, glued sheet dry thoroughly before you begin to paint on the smooth side. Although I will say that many artists who paint watercolor on Masa prefer to paint everything, crackle and all, on the fuzzy side! I like having the dark crackle on the back because it prevents those colors from lifting and blending when you're painting your image. So you can paint yellow over a blue crackle and not have part of your yellow flower turn green, for example.
In this painting, I put a pretty dark green mixed from Aureolin and Ultramarine Blue and straight Ultramarine Blue around the whole perimeter and put Permanent Rose in the middle area where the blossoms would be. You can see how dark the green and blue crackles are on the outer edges, but the rest of those colors, painted on the back but not settled into the cracks, shows through as a soft green and blue background.
I took the reference photo of apple blossoms on my farm in West Michigan close to a year ago, in 2018.
4th Place Tie in Half a Year has Passed Traditional Mediums Contest
1st Place in Your Favorite Painting of 2019 Contest, January 2020
3rd Place in Spring To Solstice Contest, March 2020
Top 5 Finisher, Your Absolute Best Piece of Artwork, April 2020
Top 3 Finisher, A Woman's Touch contest, May 2020
3rd Place Tie in Spring Images contest, May 2020
1st Place Tie in the In Apple Blossom Time - Painted Media Only Contest, May 2020
Everyday Wonder, April 2019
Created by My Hands, April 2019
Fine Arts Watercolor, April 2019
Painting the Old Way, April 2019
Art District, April 2019
Images That Excite You, April 2019
Beauty in Art - No Photography, April 2019
Midwest America Artists, April 2019
The Art of Watercolor, April 2019
Exclusively Drawings & Paintings, April 2019
Art - It's Good For You, April 2019
Women Painters - Hand Paintings Only, July 2019
Art Forever With You, July 2019
The World We See, March 2020
1000 Views on One Image, May 2020
Spring Summer Fall Winter, May 2020
April 9th, 2019
Viewed 1,841 Times - Last Visitor from Wilmington, DE on 06/01/2020 at 3:06 AM