|Cedar Falls (c) 2011 Susan Bertke|
That dadgum waterfall has been driving me crazy since my last post. I can't tell you how many variations I've painted. Watercolor purists maintain that the only white in the painting should be the original white of the paper. Early on, it became clear that this would not be a pure transparent watercolor. I ended up overworking fairly extensively with gouache (opaque watercolor).
The trick to combining transparent and opaque watercolor is to do so in a way that seems intentional. It should look like the opaque bits were intended from the beginning, not desperate attempts to cover up mistakes. Since I took Chris Leeper's workshop, I've been a lot more relaxed about the idea of mixing watercolor with either acrylic or gouache. It's helped my transparent work, I think, because I'm a lot more relaxed in the beginning stages of a painting. I think, "Oh, I can be a little more adventurous about my colors, because I can always use this as an underpainting if I don't like the result."
The finished size is about 14"x20" on Arches 140-lb. watercolor paper.