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One Watercolor a Day by Veronica Lawlor

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Chapter 7:
STORIES AND IDEAS
China, by Margaret Hurst, watercolor, pencil,
oil crayon, and Caran d’Ache crayon
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98 ONE WATERCO L O R A DAY
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DAY 36
EXERCISE 36
Find a subject that has one thing about it that you would like to highlight; it
doesn’t have to be people as in Greg’s example. Maybe you can paint a
beautiful flower in a simple vase or a decorative accent on a building—just
something that catches your eye. Make a line drawing of the person, place, or
thing, and use your watercolor paint to highlight one or two aspects of it. This
changes the proportion of the picture and really focuses your viewers
attention. Leave the watercolor area a bit wet, and introduce other shades of
that color, or a different one, into the shape, to add a little movement to the
painted part.
Sunglasses and Handbag,
razor-point pen and watercolor
Accessories
“I thought it would be fun and fashionable to highlight
accessories with color.” —Greg
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STORI E S A ND IDEAS 9 9
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VARIATION
After you’ve tried a simpler
application of the exercise,
you could go for a larger
scene, with more highlights!
Fashionable Crowd, razor-point pen
and watercolor
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100 O NE WATERCOLOR A D AY
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DAY 37
Wax Drawing
“Wax drawing is pretty fun to do. I melted some candle wax and
used a fine brush to paint the lines of my drawing. After the paint
dried, it felt good to scrape away the wax and reveal the image.
That’s my little gingerbread boy playing in the snow.” —Despina
EXERCISE 37
For this exercise, we are going to do a wax drawing of a special moment or
memory. You could create a drawing in the moment, as Despina did while
her son made a snowman, or you could find a photograph of some special
memory that you would like to work from.
First, choose your paper. Here, Despina has used a 90-lb. (185 gsm) cold-
press watercolor paper with some visible tooth (texture). That gives a sturdy
backing for the wax, so when you scrape it off, the paper doesn’t fall apart.
A deckled edge adds a gallery feel.
Melt some candle wax, and using a small inexpensive paintbrush, brush
your line drawing onto the paper with the melted wax. Make sure the wax is
thick enough to hold the line. Once the wax has dried, layer in color to your
heart’s content. The beautiful thing about working with resist is that you can
really play with the way you paint, and use plenty of pigment, without
worrying that your image will be obscured.
When the paint has dried, scrape the wax off gently with the short end of a
plastic ruler or the edge of a credit card. And there you have it—a rich and
vibrant painting that makes a frame-worthy keepsake!
TIPS
• Once you’ve designed the base
drawing, you want to transfer it to your
watercolor paper. One way to do it is to
put the drawing on a light table and,
laying the watercolor paper over it,
brush the melted wax in wherever you
see the line. If you don’t have a light
table, hold the drawing up to a television
or window with bright sun coming in, and
draw your line lightly with a hard pencil
(4H or higher) on the watercolor paper.
Put the melted wax line on top of that.
After you scrape the wax away, you can
erase the line.
• Another option is to simply draw directly
with the wax onto the watercolor paper,
either from the photo or on location.
James Making a Snowman,
base drawing, pencil and marker
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