Friday, February 18, 2011

Painting Time

I made it here at the blog today! I didn't sleep well, knowing I had to rise earlier than usual to take Sons #1 and #2 to the airport for a weekend thing the oldest is doing in California. The weather is mild here in New York and I hope it's comfortable there, but I hear it's raining.  Anyway, I'm tired.

After my amazing day with the Princess I had painting time. Oh, and for the record, every day with the Princess is amazing. Back to painting.

With apples in the house I decided to set up two of them with some bits of broken shells from my last time at the beach. I knew I would want to use them so I put them in my travel paint kit. Great light, pleasing subjects, and time. This time I planned to use the whole paper and paint just a little larger than I have lately. And I penciled in my shapes and shadows. Would you believe I need to replace the half pans of color in this travel set? When am I going to get myself together and use the large palette? Sometimes I think I'm lazy, but is it that or is it I'm just so impulsive that way? Either it's readily available or painting doesn't happen. What a whack job.

I worked over the twenty minute mark this time around, but tried to keep the colors, lights, and darks, true. Didn't want to over work this one, again. Oh and just so you know, I decided to move on from the last piece. I was over it. New day, new work. Done.

Wet paint needed some drying time so I left it alone to do some other things and look at it as I passed by. I knew I needed to clear up some areas and when I could, I did.

Apples with Shell Bits (c)2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
Watercolor on Arches paper

This is it. I am finished with it. I have a question for you more experienced watercolorists out there though. Does watercolor paper need to be sized before using? As in wetting the paper thoroughly and leaving it to dry for use later? I've been using a block of Arches 140lb cold press paper and have not been going over it with water first. When I want to paint a fine line of color it seems to resist. It's not beading up, just not flowing over the paper smoothly, sort of like skipping. Large blotches of color gets absorbed easy and it seems I don't have much control. Is it me? Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this.

I'm finished with this one too. I signed it and I'm done. Let's see where I go next session.


  1. Sizing happens in manufacture of paper. Its done already when you buy it.
    If large patches are getting absorbed easily, it may be a faulty block, where the sizing isn't even. no cure for that but replacing. I've sent some back before now and the manufacturer has replaced it, no problem.

    Your painting is adorable though. You're really excelling with these :) xx

  2. It looks so lovely! I love your casual way of working with watercolor.

  3. Dora-
    First of all, although I definitely DO NOT consider myself more experienced at watercolor than you- I do know that you can wet your paper under water then tape it to a board or table (with that paper tape) and that stretches it to help with buckling. I learned that in college and did do it for a while. Now I am lazier and do not stretch the paper. Those blocks of paper are good in that case since they stay put while painting.
    I love your apples!

  4. Thank you for that info Pat, good to know! I think I'll just go with it since it's not so bad.

  5. AtelierBrigitte-thank you! I am trying to keep painting loose and relaxed.

  6. Sheryl, I do remember that procedure from the bad watercolor class I took because that's how the instructor demonstrated at every class. What did I know about watercolor? I was an oil painter for so long! So I guess it's for anti-buckling of the paper. Well, the block is easier.


The Latest Work With Permission

©Dora Sislian Themelis, 11x14 Watercolor, Patmos Sunset Available for purchase The latest work is from another person's photograph...