Back to the big paper... make it Canson Watercolor

"Clearing" 12 x 18 Pastel on Paper
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I used to have a brave motto for myself when it came to painting: paint big or go home. If I had to resort to something as small as 9 x 12, it was because I was out of the bigger stuff.

In recent months, particularly once I began painting regularly, I've had to cut my paintings down in size. Between time constraints, tiredness, and lack of space, I could only go for the big paper or canvas when I got the rare opportunity to spend a few hours painting at a time.

Painting small has its benefits-- it takes less time (in theory at least), and doesn't require as much energy for me to cover the paper with the media. It has a big drawback for me too though: I end up painting much tighter than I originally intend to, and end up squinting over that small paper or canvas, trying to get my details straight.

With this issue in mind, I recently bought a pad of Canson watercolor paper in the 11 x 15 size (on sale, of course). I was lucky enough to have a couple of large pieces of cardboard on hand to use as paintboards, and decided to try the chalk pastel and water combination on the Canson paper. This resulted in the piece above, a scene of a clearing in the land and water at one of the Everglades parks in Florida. The pastel blends more easily with the water on the Canson paper, and becomes almost like a tempera paint in consistency. It doesn't grip as well as the Arches Cold Press, but dries more quickly and has a smooth finish. I'm hoping to go back to painting on the bigger paper more often for my daily paintings, as it was so much more comfortable for me to keep my subject matter loose and focus more on the joy of spreading the media around on the paper.

I did struggle with the reflections in the water on this one... more on reflections in the next post, as the reflection is the focus in the next painting I'll be adding...

To see more paintings of places, click here:

To read my latest Red Bubble journal on sharing yourself as an artist (rather than copying others), click here:


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