Give Bite to Your Watercolors

“Yperthyron” by George Politis

“In Greece, bright sunlight bathes the landscape, creating beautiful contrasts,” says GEORGE POLITIS. “To add interest to my watercolor paintings of traditional white buildings and old churches, I sometimes add elements of collage. I’ve experimented with various types of paper — oriental handmade papers, tissue paper, newspaper, and others — and all have worked.

“I collage some areas to create an uneven surface. When the collaged areas are dry, I paint over them with watercolors (almost drybrush touches, very little water). Thus, I take advantage of the uneven surface of the paper and I am able to gradually build on texture.

“In my process, it is important not to overdo it with too much collage. Also, not every part of the painting should have collage — just some areas, to give more bite to the watercolor.”

Watercolor and Collage Demo

“Churches have intriguing architectural forms that provide great compositional elements,” he continues. “In this demo painting, I use collage in the foreground building and the trees only. You can see how the surface takes on a three-dimensional quality with the addition of collage. I painted on top of the collaged areas with watercolors. On top of the walls, I applied some white acrylic.”

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Of course, another way to add texture to your watercolor paintings is by using salt. In “Tuscan Textures: Rich Textures Using Salt,” Judy Morris demonstrates the versatility of watercolor and the subtle differences that combining various types of paint (opaques, transparents, and stains), paper, and salts will achieve.



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