Watercolor Markers

Week 16 - Flower paintings with Winsor and Newton watercolor markers. I really like to paint with watercolor, so I eagerly purchased various colors of these Winsor and Newton watercolor markers about a year and half ago. It was recommended in several reviews of the markers to purchase the watercolor pad made specifically for these markers by Winsor and Newton for best performance and blending. I made a swatch chart of all the colors that I had purchased and tried them last summer during World Watercolor Month, but really wanted to spend more time with them to see if I could get better results.

I love this time of the year when the trees are blooming with spring blossoms, especially cherry blossoms and magnolias. We didn't have cherry blossoms at Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore this year, within walking distance of my office, so I didn't get to make any reference photos of those. But there is one magnolia tree a couple of blocks from our house in Hanover that I always want to take photos of in the spring that bloomed beautifully for my reference photos. I also took a few reference photos on Easter Sunday at a roadside flower stand when we stopped to purchase an Easter bouquet for my mother-in-law.

I've watched numerous how-to videos with tips on how to use these markers, and tried some of those techniques when I made paintings in my sketchbook this week. I started out with light pencil sketches, and picked two colors to blend and made beginning strokes with those, using a light hand. The markers activate very well with water and it's easiest to blend colors if activating the lighter color first, then blending the darker one into it. I used this technique on the first sketches, but I thought the resulting sketches were a bit too tight, not having a watercolor, sketchy quality. I also found it difficult to get an even wash with the Phthalo Blue for a light background. It might have worked better to use the markers on a palette and add light washes from that.

I tried a looser technique with the last sketch that I made this morning of roadside tulips and was pleased with how that turned out. I didn't get to use all the colors in my stash, but I feel that I have a better idea of how these work and could make improvements in my sketches with them.

Next up in Create-A-Thon 2017, a yearlong creativity exploration project - digital collage on iPad pro and plein air painting.