Wa­ter­colour Tex­ture

John Lovett shares his ap­proach of cre­at­ing phys­i­cal and vis­ual tex­ture in wa­ter­colours

International Artist - - Contents - John Lovett

John Lovett shares his ap­proach of cre­at­ing phys­i­cal and vis­ual tex­ture in wa­ter­colours

Wa­ter­color is not a medium gen­er­ally associated with tex­ture, but there are a num­ber of things we can do to cre­ate phys­i­cal tex­ture and many ways to cre­ate vis­ual tex­ture.

In the ex­am­ple above, both vis­ual and phys­i­cal tex­ture are used. The peel­ing paint on the win­dow frame, the lat­tice tex­ture and the tex­ture of brick are all vis­ual tex­tures cre­ated by the ap­pli­ca­tion of paint to fool the eye into be­liev­ing there is three-di­men­sional depth in the objects rep­re­sented. The stucco wall uses a phys­i­cal tex­ture, built up with wa­ter­color gesso, to re­pro­duce the im­pres­sion of weath­ered stucco.

V I S I T JOHN LOVETT ON­LINE www. johnlovett. com www. johnlovettwa­ter­col­or­work­shop. com

Tex­ture is of­ten over­looked as an el­e­ment in wa­ter­color paint­ing. Mak­ing a con­scious ef­fort to in­clude it can re­ally add to the in­ter­est of a paint­ing. Con­trast­ing ar­eas of tex­ture with ar­eas of flat re­lief gives the tex­ture more in­ten­sity and the paint­ing more im­pact.

This paint­ing was done on a full sheet of 600gsm Fabri­ano pa­per. To add a more ob­vi­ous phys­i­cal tex­ture to the pa­per, wa­ter­color gesso (or ab­sorbent ground) was ap­plied to the pa­per with rough, choppy brush strokes and left to dry. Although sub­tle, it...

To cre­ate a phys­i­cal tex­ture for the stucco wall, gesso was ap­plied in a rough, stip­pled man­ner and al­lowed to thor­oughly dry. Once dry, a wash of dirty yel­low can be flooded over the area of the wall. As this wash dries, pig­ment set­tles into the...

Here you can see how the over wash has en­hanced the phys­i­cal tex­ture of the rough gesso to sug­gest weath­ered stucco.

3 Ver­ti­cal strips of the cut mask­ing tape are ap­plied across the area of dirty yel­low (the dirty yel­low will even­tu­ally be the color of the up­per­most ver­ti­cal slats). Once the tape is ap­plied and firmly pressed down, a darker yel­low/ brown wash is...

6 Once the tape is re­moved, ev­ery­thing makes sense. The first ver­ti­cal strips of tape cre­ated the ver­ti­cal slats, the sec­ond hor­i­zon­tal strips made the hor­i­zon­tal slats be­hind and the fi­nal dark wash be­comes the shad­owy area be­hind the lat­tice.

5 For this cool dark gray I used French ul­tra­ma­rine, alizarin crim­son and quinacridone gold. Don’t make the mix­ture too wet or it may bleed un­der the tape.

4 Af­ter this darker wash has dried, hor­i­zon­tal strips of mask­ing tape are ap­plied and pressed down. A dark, cool gray mix­ture is then ap­plied to the whole area. This will be­come the dark shadow through the holes in the lat­tice.

7 The fi­nal job is to re­fine some of the edges, add a shadow to the right-hand side of the ver­ti­cal slats, then lose parts of the lat­tice so it blends into the paint­ing. Left un­touched, the lat­tice would be too stark and dis­tract­ing.

2 Mask­ing tape is cut into strips the width of the tim­ber slats. A ruler and a craft knife make this an easy job.

To cre­ate the im­pres­sion of weath­ered tim­ber lat­tice, a wash of dirty yel­low (quinacridone gold, alizarin crim­son and French ul­tra­ma­rine blue) is ap­plied to the en­tire area of the lat­tice and al­lowed to dry.

In this paint­ing there is no phys­i­cal tex­ture, but the nu­mer­ous vis­ual tex­tures add in­ter­est and va­ri­ety to the sur­face. The sky and fore­ground are sim­ple, smooth washes with no ev­i­dence of tex­ture. At the ex­trem­i­ties of the paint­ing, tex­tures are kept...


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