Wet in Wet Technique and Color Definition

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An entire paper is laid flat and is brushed wet with water. When the paper no longer wicks, the work begins by plunging it with a paint-saturated brush. The effect will generally be large areas with irregular color definition. The subject of the painting is then defined and sharpened as the color dries. Using this technique produces an effect that is not possible in any other medium. This is referred to as the wet in wet technique that is distinct only to water color paintings.  

Here are different procedures of wet in wet technique that presents different characteristics.

Cling Film Technique
This wet in wet technique creates a special effect in the painting through the use of a kitchen cling film. The cling film is applied over the wet pigment and manipulated to form ripples and ridges. When the painting is dry, the cling film is removed revealing the effect on the painting that the film has made.

Salt Texture
Since the salt will absorb water, this technique is used to create snowflakes in the picture and other imperfections in the color.

A salt will rot the paper over time, so a fine water spray using a spray bottle held three feet from the painting is used as a substitute with similar effect. Fine grains of sand could also be sprayed over the surface that will be brushed off later.

This is commonly referred to as the blooms, watermarks, oozles, backwash, or back runs. This effect is achieved by the natural tendency of the paint to be drawn from the wetter surfaces to the dryer surface of the paper. This effect is commonly used for lighting contour of an object and at other times simply for decorative purposes. As the pigmented water runs from the wetter to the dryer surface, it carries along pigments leaving the wetter areas with a lighter shade and depending on how the back run is treated; it will leave an image with a serrated edge. 

Dropping in Color
The artist dilutes a defined area with paint or water then the artist drops in color through the brush that has been loaded with paint. The added shapes are then manipulated by stroking or tilting. Backruns are induced by adding more color or clear water or lightening up the surface by wicking. This technique produces an effect that is tessellated.

Paint Diffusion
When paint is applied to a wet surface, the tendency of the paint that is applied is to be defused into the wet water that surrounds it. This creates a feathery effect in the edges of the object that is painted. The paint diffusion technique is further shaped by tilting the paper while still wet.

Pouring Color
The artist applying this technique pours quantities of paint on the different surfaces of the paper, and using brush, tilting, and spraying, merges the paint together producing an area that has a profusion of different colors and color variations. When the mixture is not so wet, the colors are then manipulated by brush into the desired forms. Before this technique is applied though, predetermined white areas are covered with masking tape, a film or a latex resist.


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