My method of adding a wash of color came to me one day when I was pondering how I could make my ink drawings more interesting. After a few attempts at limiting where I put color, I was delighted with the results of adding a single stroke of a mixed color wash. I enjoy playing with the color. It’s fun to see how the pigment will run and how just a bit of color can transform a simple drawing.
Really the only way to show you this technique is with a video complete with narration.
There are two important things about my technique. The first, as you can see, is that I use a lot of water to let the colors flow together. The second is that I try to stop before I think I’m done. Less is more when it comes to watercolor washes. I know fluid watercolor is unpredictable and, quite frankly, scary. To me that’s the fun of it – the colors run and mix together and create beautiful transparencies.
I’d never timed it before but I always guessed that I spent about five minutes adding color to a drawing that may have taken two or more hours. The video is six minutes, so my guesses were close. After this drawing dried a bit, I added just a few highlights for punch – more intense color inside the entry and windows, a bit of color on fence post.