THE CLASSIC FLAT WASH:
Curtain of Colour Technique
These three photos show the progression of the flat wash down the paper, using the Curtain of Colour Technique which means maintaining a reservoir of colour at the bottom edge of the wash.
Each of these three images can be clicked to enlarge so the text can be more easily read.
The blue colour used is Winsor Blue also called Pthalo Blue, sometimes also called Monestial Blue.
It is a flat colour it doesn't granulate or precipitate.
The warm colour is Light Red.
Mix sufficient quantities of both in a dish type palette.
Check out the strength of your mixes on a piece of paper which is the same as the sheet you are going to paint on.
Your paper should be attached to your board and at an angle that is not steep but allows the colour to flow down to the bottom of your stroke.
Maintaining a good angle of tilt.
Instruction sheet for an easy to make cardboard easle is
available via the link below.
Many of the pricey wooden table easels are difficult to use, as they raise the board too high off the table.
Using a size 12 round brush, dip into the blue wash and load it, don't take the excess off on the edge of your palette.
Apply to your paper in one horizontal stroke, take another dip and repeat don't try to make one dip apply 3 strokes, keep dipping in and maintain a loaded brush.
Having taken the blue wash to just past the half way point, you should have a reservoir of colour at the bottom edge.
Speed is essential:
Wipe off the excess blue still in your brush on a paper towel, now quickly dip into the Light Red load your brush and introduce the Light Red wash into the blue just above the line of blue colour that has built up.
Proceed down the sheet in the same way you did with the Blue, until you come to the bottom of the sheet.
When you finish, the top of your sheet should still be wet. The faster the application the more translucent and pure the colour will look
For the project Country Lane we now used tissue to dab out the cloud effect, this can only be achieved if the blue sky is damp enough.
Wipe off the excess colour at the bottom of the page with tissue. If allowed to remain there, the colour above it will dry first and a capillary action will take place, where the still wet colour is drawn upward into the area beginning to dry, leaving an ugly deposit of pigment when the colour has dried out. This is sometimes referred to as the Cauliflower effect.
When your sheet has totally dried you should have a perfectly flat even wash with no horizontal streaks
or cauliflowers marks.
Mark yourself out of ten - practice this a few times until you're happy with the result.