Special Effects Watercolor with Julie Davis

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Watercolor two ways — liquid and powder! Use Pebeo Drawing Gum Markers to quickly and easily block out areas to keep white space. Then create free-flowing fluid washes with Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Fine Art Liquid Watercolors. As a final special effect, add a touch of texture with Ken Oliver Color Bu...

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  1. Cut Crescent Watercolor Board to 7½" x 10", or other desired size.
  2. Draw the plant shape using the drawing gum marker. Refer to sketch image, or create your own. Allow a few minutes for dry time.
  3. Using an atomizer bottle, spritz water over the drawing gum. Use a wet brush to create water lines that lead away from the plant in the manner of leaves. Apply Hansa Yellow Light directly to the wet area. Tilt the board in all directions so that color runs into the water lines and forms new lines.
  4. Repeat step 2 using Gamboge Yellow. Allow to dry.
  5. In a watercolor palette, mix a drop of Phthalo Green with a full dropper of Hansa Yellow Light to make a bright green. From the center of the plant, paint arching leaves. Lift the brush slowly away from the surface at the end of the stroke to form a point on the leaf.
  6. Tilt the board so that bottom edge faces up. Load the brush with light green and "wipe" the color onto the edge of the board (in the same manner one would wipe a brush on the edge of a water cup to remove water). Still holding the board vertically, spritz across the width of the surface with water until the green runs back upwards to the plant. Tilt the board in the opposite direction until the color moves back down to the bottom of the painting.
  7. Mix a dark green in a separate well by adding one drop of Venetian Brown to a full dropper of Phthalo Green. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with dark green.
  8. Spritz an area in the upper left corner of the board with water. Hold bottle of Yellow Ochre Color Burst over the area and tap the bottom of the bottle to release a small amount of the color crystals. Do not squeeze, or it will release too much.
  9. Spritz an area in the lower left corner of the board with water. Tap a small amount of the color crystals. If desired, lightly spritz over the crystals one time to create more texture. Repeat once in the lower right corner of the painting.
  10. Allow to dry, then remove drawing gum using the rough side of a double-sided scrubber sponge.
  11. Define the plant pot with Venetian Brown.
  12. Fill white leaves with choices of bright green, dark green, and Gamboge Yellow. Choose colors according to values in the surrounding background, so that contrast remains. In areas of the painting where the background is darker (bottom half of the painting), use the two lighter colors. In the top part of the painting, where the background is lighter, paint the leaves using dark green.
  13. Frame the finished piece under glass for best protection and longevity.