Saturday, 18 July 2015

Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground Experiments

Experimenting with Daniel Smith Fine Ground Products
Adding exciting texture and life to flat sections of a painting

Wow! What a blast I am having experimenting with Daniel Smith Fine Ground products. I am very lucky as a professional artist as I am often given new products to try. In all honesty I only ever share them on my blog if I like them or they have given me something to grow from as an artist. And oh boy am I having fun with these fascinating products. There is so much that you can do with them but as a usually purist watercolourist I have avoided even experimenting with them. Until now that is!

So what was I given?

Here you go!
Daniel Smith Watercolour Ground in Mars Black and Buff Titanium.

 Daniel Smith Watercolour Ground in Mars Black and Buff Titanium

"I don't want the black so please don't give it to me" I hastily replied when offered these two products. 

" I never use black" I cried indignantly but the two pots  were placed in my hands by a smiling "contributor" to my ever growing range of Daniel Smith products. They wouldn't take no for an answer and laughed as they walked away from me.

" Just try them" He said and laughed. 

He knows me too well. Now it is over a month since I was given these to try and I found myself staring at them thsi morning thinking should I put them in a cupboard and forget them or have a play with them. And so I did the latter and what joy they are!

 First things first. I must admit I prefer a watercolour to be created just with pure watercolour products. But there is that inner yearning as an artist to know what is available on the market and experience what other artists  are using. I want to be current in my work and up to date. Aware of what is new and what I like when products come onto the art market. I expected to hate these product as they just aren't " me"

But am I wrong?

Firstly I had to find  paintings I could play with.  I had some rooster paintings I wasn't intending to frame so thought they would do for these experiments.

Please forgive me but I have painted on top of the two cockerels in my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour". I know I want shooting but they were at hand and I felt they would be a great piece to  add to!

So for Experiment 1. I have applied the Daniel Smith Buff Titanium Watercolor Ground over the faces of the two roosters and then used the Mars Black at the back of their necks, using a spatula for application and creating textural directional feather strokes as I applied the  product. I liked the build up but this has to dry completely before I add further watercolour on top.

I have chosen to lighten sections and add drama with the darker colour, where I applied Mars Black, at the outer edges of my subjects.

 Experimenting : I have chosen to lighten sections and add drama with the darker colour

 After this I was hooked. What else could I do? Like a child in a candy shop I started really looking for paintings to either destroy or improve. I was on a mission!

I found the second rooster I had intended to just add detail to, on the face, this weekend but instead I enjoyed using the Mars Black on the tail. Oh boy this is fun.

Just look at the difference now? The painting has far more impact with the textural improvements.


 The tail was looking flat and boring. 
I liked it before the application of Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground but......


Wow, what a difference and this was so simple to do!

Now I have to wait for these applications to dry completely before I decide what to do next.

But I can't remember when I had so much fun experimenting.

I would love to hear what you do with this product. Perhaps you could reply to my blog post and link to your art using this product?  Lets' see how much we can inspire each other and grow as artists!

Oh and by the way I was inspired to try this after receiving my Jackson's Art Supplies new catalogue. In it is a wonderful range of products to try . Included is an interview I gave to Jackson's when they asked me what my favourite watercolour was and why. You can also buy my personalised range of  "Jean Haines Watercolour Brushes" from them too!

Here is a link to the Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground page  on Jacksons Art Supplies web site

And here is a link to my personalised watercolour brush range. They are now so popular that  some of my brushes are currently out of stock but I have been promised they will be in stock soon!


But fo rnow , I can't stop. I want to get back to playing with these products. I feel as though I am five years old having great fun again and its is fantastic.

Oh, and thank you to the wonderful donor of this incredible product. You know who you are! And you were right. I love it!


1 comment:

JD said...

I've considered using a watercolour ground in the past: I like the idea of using watercolour on canvas.
You're the first person I've come across to use the ground as a paint.
I have to say, it would be fascinating to see your style on a surface like canvas prepared with the ground.
Like this: