Art, Inspiration, Personal
Comments 2

Using watercolours (From an oil painter’s perspective)

I didn’t realise how lucky I had it, to have thrown myself in at the deep end and learn to paint with oils as quickly as I did. It was a medium I wanted as my friend and I threw it around until I made it work. I was going to shoehorn my work to intertwine with oils and do whatever it took. Luckily the shoe fit.

It wasn’t until I went back to materials I had previously used before I taught myself how to paint properly, that I realised it is not how the material works for you but how you work the material.

Watercolour painting is oil painting flipped on its head. This is my own interpretation. Where oils are malleable, subject to complete change in consistency and shape of the mark you just made, watercolours are not. With oils you could alter that one mark up to 3 or 4 days later. With watercolours you cannot. You have a matter of seconds to decide if the mark you just made was ‘correct’ before the water has dried and the colour is set.

With watercolours, you are surrendering a portion of your work to a beautiful fluid fate-like skittishness. Water cannot be fully controlled, and paints in such a low viscosity consistency will fall subject to breaching. Colours might run further than you planned, but this adds such a fluid and kinetic overtone, giving paintings a lot of life and energy.

Oil paints are purposeful. Every mark is intended, it looks the way it does because the artist made it that way. If the artist wanted to create the effect of fluidity and looseness, this can be done intentionally. Oils are true, to the point, and bold even in the softest ways. This is ultimately my medium of choice and a labour of love to understand. But to have learnt this, I thought I would take on the medium of water-colour and work on a portrait, something I have never done with this medium.

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And this is what it looked like… Watercolours are hard work to an oil painter, you have to be on your toes. But the effects are beautiful, and the end result doesn’t look like any work I have done before, for that reason watercolours are a medium I will be working on more often. Even if my true love is oils.

Katy x

For any information on commissioning oil or watercolour pieces or for the availability and sale of my work, you are welcomed to contact me at katyjadedobson@mail.com 

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2 Comments

  1. Wow. I love your watercolor. Watercolor is my medium of choice. LOVE it. And you can correct. If you leave a line, you can use the pigmented water itself to rub down the old pigment. A paper towel is your napkin. The best thing is that if the watercolor you use is with tubes, you can just rewet it over & over until its gone. I’m a huge watercolor fan. Sorry for these words if they offend. I didn’t mean too. Your art is extraordinary as is this photograph. ~amy

    • Hi Amy, thanks for the input! I will definitely be trying out rubbing down the pigment. This was something I struggled with in my first attempt! 🙂 x

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