Saturday, February 5, 2011
Japanese Egrets in Snow
This is an interesting watercolor that I did awhile back. It was one of the few times I used frisket film. I wanted to first paint a wet-on-wet background for a soft atmospheric look, but how to not paint over the egrets? I guess I could have painted over them considering the background would have been very light, but I wanted to preserve the pure white of the watercolor paper in some of the areas in the birds. Frisket film was the solution. I don't know how easy or difficult it may be to find frisket film now-a-days. It was used (and still may be used) by airbrush artists to mask out areas or shapes to be painted or protected while another area or shape is being airbrushed. One cuts out the shape with an Exacto knife and lays it on the paper or board that is being painted on. The frisket film has a low tack that holds it in place. I laid an entire sheet of frisket over the birds and cut around them with my Exacto knife. If one has a very sharp blade, it will cut easily through the frisket film without cutting into the watercolor paper. By the way, I was painting on 140lb. cold press watercolor paper. After I lifted the excess, outer area of the egrets off the watercolor paper and lightly burnished what was left over the egrets with my fore finger, I lightly wet the paper with a large watercolor brush and painted the background wet-on-wet. When that was dry, I lifted off the frisket that had protected the egrets. This technique was a lot easier and more effective than trying to protect the bird shapes with a liquid frisket, and you can cut extremely complex shapes out by using frisket film.