Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Several years ago I had painted an agave in watercolor.  It was poured, everyone loved it (including me!) but now . . . . I cannot find it – anywhere.  So far this is the only painting I have lost and considering what a mess my house is, that’s an amazing feat.

So, now I’ve painted another one, using the same photo, and attempted Barb Sailor’s  technique.  I’m used to using fluid acrylic, but Barb thinks that acrylic inks have more punch, and judging by the resounding colors in her paintings, she is probably correct.  The only inks I have are the Ph. Martin Bombay India inks which I had used previously on the glass bottles.

First I used the tracing I had from my original painting and traced it onto a half sheet of watercolor paper (Arches 140#).  Barb used miskit to outline each leaf and any additional whites she wanted to retain. 

She uses Pebeo Drawing Gum which is what I usually use; if I run out I’ll buy Winsor Newton and prefer the original yellow over the white which dries “invisible”.  I’ve only had a problem one time with the Pebeo going bad – it will last a long time if I make sure it has a tight seal.  I’ve found that the WN white goes bad quickly – as a matter of fact, any of the white miskits seem to do that - I don’t know why.  The WN yellow seems to last but not as long as the Pebeo.  Also, the Pebeo has a depression in the cap that you can pour your miskit into.  Since I’m not able to buy Pebeo locally I order it from either Jerry’s, ASW or Cheap Joe.

Once the miskit had dried I poured some green inks into some small plastic cups and added some water.  I added some turquoise to one of the greens, and also poured some blue into a cup.  I already had my pre-mixed yellow green – if you will recall my fiasco with the inks a while back!  

Then I wet the paper by spraying it – Barb used a brush.  Using my greens in a pipette I dripped the greens around the paper trying to keep the colors contained by the miskit like Barb did.  I was not very successful with that!


Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Ooh, this is going to be gorgeous! I agree that Perbeo Drawing Gum is just the best, most long-lasting brand of miskit. I usually order mine from Cheap Joe and it always last a long time. I hesitate to use it if I can get away with just saving the whites since I hate the hard lines you get around everything. But, for your purpose here I think it is necessary to use.

I also use the PH Martin Bombay inks, although I have used them to pour a painting yet. I usually use them as an underpainting (my own version of grisaille, using purple ink usually)then watercolor atop that layer. It doesn't lift like watercolor would for an underpainting.

Looking forward to your process on this one.

RH Carpenter said...

You picked a good subject with harmonious colors - and it's looking good to far. Did you apply your masking fluid with a brush or a stick or???

debwardart said...

Rhonda - I used brush and toothpick.
Susan - I can't paint around little stuff so use lots of miskit and just soften those edges. This one is done just to use the technique she used.