One of the joys of having workshop participants who’re really enjoying using watercolours is that it motivates, inspires and pushes me with my own use of watercolour. Reading around it’s been interesting how some artists are adamant that washbacks or cauliflowers represent incompetent technique, while others embrace it as part of mark-making potential or repertoire.
I’m definitely in the latter category, and love wet-into-wet watercolour, pushing pigment with water, happy accident-ing and intentional puddling. While, like any technique or effect, it can be overdone, I love the effect. More importantly, I enjoy doing it.
Yesterday I came across this quote in “Creative Landscape Painting” by Edward Betts (page 145) and it rang so true. The freedom of painting wet-into-wet is a mindset, and that’s why it’s so hard for some people to move from controlled wet-onto-dry watercolour and meticulous pencil drawings into “going with the flow”. You have to change your mindset as well as technique.