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Monday, December 10, 2012

Work Floats In Washes

Hi, Friends, how have you been? Thank you for your many encouragements. The Immigrant Women Speakout, too, appreciates your warm cheers.
This week, I'll chat over watercolour washes or wet in wet.
Now, I've got on a publishing project, doing many experiments on washes in order to create a "mood" for the illustration. I've decided to use lots of washes for the project. As if my colour roughs were floating in washes. Does it make sense? (NOTE: "Colour rough" is the part of the process of picture book illustration.)

Washes and wet in wet are very the beauty of watercolour, I believe. Below, a salt technique.
In order to enjoy washes, it's vital to be bald and brave in watercolour. These tips are from my experiences. They sound simple and look like common sense or old cliches. But sometimes, it's not easy to carry them out.

>>> "Mental" elements 
1) Do it today, right now!
If inspiration comes up, it's time to take an action.
Never make it later. Darrrling, just do it, now!
2) The Fates loves the brave & bald.
Forget everything.
Particularly, leave high expectations behind you.
3) Enjoy any result.
Paradox. Plan well, but have fun in an unexpected process and an interesting outcome.

For example, a salt wash gave me an image of snow. On the same day, I made this Japanese new years card (*a next year is a snake year according to Japanese "eto," zodiac animal calender.)  The process thrilled me so much. I wonder what if sugarʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ? Has anyone tried it?

>>> "Physical" elements
1) Make rich, thick, plenty of paint like your favorite soup!
Not wise to add paint once started a job. 
Remember, also always watercolour paint goes 1 or 2 "tones back" when it gets dried.
2) Bigger, Longer, Stronger.
... I mean a size of brushesʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ. Find your favorite sizes.
My round brushes are #16, #20. #12 is the smallest one.
I have another bigger round brush and a flat, hake, --- it looks like a wall paint brush!
3) Papers are as above. 
Find your favourite papers. The thicker, the better. At least, 300 lb.
Know well about paper.
eg) When does it get dry? How does it get dry -- weather, humidity, hand-dryer? When does it hold paints fully? ( = does not accept paint any more).

>>>"Technical" elements
1) Control of water!
2) Do quick job!
Learn "timing," "amount of water/paint," "balance of colours" in composition. 
3) Don't tamper it too much!
Once, touch it or put colour, that's all. Full stop.
(*Partially, technically possible to do "step backward." However, most cases come up ugly or lose lively images. I'll start it again. Actually a fresh start saves time and stress free. So, plan well and enjoy "happy accidents.") 
4) Try any idea and have fun.
All outcome is precious work. It's never a mess nor a mistake. I keep all paintings for references and learn lots. In addition, without drawing skills, any attempt will never be achieved even in washes. I keep sketching anything interests me.

Friends, please, never get drawn in the ocean of watercolour. Let us fearlessly swim across the sea and have fun together in an upcoming 2013! 
Happy Painting!!
Romeo & Juliet 



  1. Sadami, eres genial!!! Y muy trabajadora!!
    A mi edad, no tengo tantas ganas de hacer experimentos. Solo pintar!!! y... a la acuarela!!
    Me siento muy a gusto en ello y sí que busco "retos". Cuando me paro a pensar: Seré capaz de pintar eso que me gusta? Pues eso sí me apetece y por ahora no estoy insatisfecho de los logros que consigo.
    Tú eres incansable y me gusta lo que haces. Te admiro!!! A ti te motiva mucho lo que haces! Pues...adelante!!!
    Te deseo unas felices Navidades y una buena entrada de año nuevo. Espero que el 2013 sea más tranquilo para ti, con buena salud y disfrutes pintando y experimentando!
    Un beso.

    1. Estimado Joshemari,
      Muchas gracias por cálidos saludos!
      Bueno, es mi experiencia. Si pensar demasiado, siempre hago un trabajo aburrido. Así, acaba de subirse, trabajar en. Supongo que soy el tipo de instinto, ahahaha!
      ¿Cuál es su plan en 2013? Realmente espero tus nuevas obras. Su trabajo es más agradable y más agradable!!! Brillante. También, de todo corazón le deseo una muy feliz Navidad y un año nuevo maravilloso.
      Mis mejores deseos, Sadami

      Dear Joshemari,
      Thank you very much for warm cheers!
      Well, it's my experience. If I think too much, I always make a dull work. So, I just get on, work on. I assume I'm the type of instinct, ahahaha!
      What's your plan in 2013? I really look forward to your new paintings. Your work gets nicer and nicer!! Brilliant. I, too, heartily wish you a very happy Christmas and a wonderful new year.
      Best wishes, Sadami

      >>>Joshemari said...
      Sadami, you are great! And hardworking!
      At my age, I do not so eager to do experiments. Only paint! and... at watercolor!
      I feel very comfortable in it and seek it "challenges". When I stop to think: I will be able to paint what I like? So that if I want and now I am not dissatisfied accomplishments that I can.
      You are tireless and I like what you're doing. I admire you! Motivates you much what you are doing! Well... later!
      I wish you a happy Christmas and a good new year entry. I hope that 2013 is calmer for you, with good health and enjoy painting and experimenting!
      A kiss.

  2. If we all would take care of all the elements that you mentioned, we all would be masters of watercolour! I wish! ;) I love the salt effects, really beautiful! Renate tried sugar once... it turned out a sticky mess! :) Happy painting, Sadami!

    1. Dear Judy,
      Thank you for the nice response and the interesting info on sugar. I'm certain you're on the way to be a master of watercolour. You, too, keep up wonderful work.
      Best wishes, Sadami

  3. Sadami, siempre que miro su blog sus hermosas acuarelas y sus palabras me dejan alguna enseñanza, gracias por compartir su arte

    1. Beatriz querida,
      Muchas gracias por cálidos aplausos. Sí, es "compartir" la manera de ser feliz.
      Compartamos la alegría más en arte!
      Mis mejores deseos, Sadami

      Dear Beatriz,
      Thank you very much for warm cheers. Yes, "sharing" is the way to become happy.
      Let us share joy more in art!
      Best wishes, Sadami

      >>> Beatriz said...
      Sadami, always that your blog look your beautiful watercolors and words leave me any teaching, thank you for sharing your art

  4. さだみさんへ


    1. Dear Midori,
      ありがとうございます。毎日描いていれば, あなたの描くレベルならそう遠くない日にquick watercolour painting,実現すると感じます。くたばろうが何だろうがとにかく描く、が私のやりかたです。大変嬉しい事に私の敬愛する画家達は口をそろえて言います,"Draw. Draw your fool head off, but draw. Draw first. Think about it next. Conceptual art without skill is nothing. Ideas are cheap. One doesn’t get better at ideas by thinking better thoughts." とにかく描くのです。私は早筆として知られていますが、空しい論理や理屈に捕らわれないからです。実行あるのみです。描いた者の勝ちです。"畢竟,仕事をしない天才より仕事をする鈍才の方が余計仕事をします," got it?
      Now, I'll get back to the story board.
      Best wishes, Sadami

  5. Me gustan tus experimentos.Yo tambien estoy jugando con las texturas, desde luego mis resultados son muy pobres comparados con los tuyos. No he usado sal ni azucar, estoy usando granulation medium de Winsor&Newton y distintos salpicados con agua o pintura. Los resultados de momento malos, pero me divierto!

    1. Querida Tina,
      ¡Gracias! Sí, hacer un montón de experimentos. Tina, no necesitamos comparar nuestros resultados con nadie. Divertirse y ser lo que usted está completamente. Como mencioné anteriormente, es un error "expectaion alto". En primer lugar, tenemos que hacer un "lío" en la alegría como un niño jugando en el barro. Un niño nunca espera realizar una obra maestra desde el principio. (* antes de eso, son el centro del mundo, ahahaha!) Realmente espero que su desafío será ir bien, pero vamos a divertirnos juntos.
      Mis mejores deseos, Sadami

      Dear Tina,
      Thank you! Yes, do lots of experiments. Tina, we do not need to compare our results with anyone else. Have fun and be what you are fully. As I mentioned above, "high expectaion" is wrong. First, we need to make a "mess" in joy like a little child playing in mud. A kid never expects to make a master piece from the beginning. (*before that, they are the centre of the world, ahahaha!) I really hope your challenge will go well, but let's have fun together.
      Best wishes, Sadami

      >>>Tina said...
      I like your experiments.I also am playing with textures, since then my results are very poor compared to yours. I have not used salt or sugar, I'm using granulation medium of Winsor & Newton and various sprinkled with water or paint. Bad results at the moment, but I have fun!

  6. My brushes are small. Sometimes I get big results though. One day I will try large brushes and see what kind of mess I make! One of the prettiest effects I ever got was from medical gauze. Love the dobro player!

    1. Hi, Dan,
      Thank you! Me, too, love the dobro player. He liked that work, too.
      Changing brush sizes is my very interesting "process" that is in pararell to my changing painting style. Once, I used #6 or small for a traditional watercolour style. Today, you find my style gets more free and liquid. BTW, gauze! Good on ye! Could be a very sensitive effect. Texture is another fun for me!
      Cheers, Sadami

  7. Oh yes! Those are the elements we need to master.
    I love trying techniques in watercolour, salt is a good one, so is cling film! Scrunch it up and put it on a wet wash and let it dry overnight. Fabulous texture. Anyway, I digress - your works are beautiful, as ever. Love to you xx

    1. Dear Pat,
      Thank you very much! You know the techniques more than me. I heartily hope your writing will go well.
      Best wishes, Sadami

  8. Hi Sadami
    No-one makes watercolour look more fun (with excellent drawing skills) than you do, reminding me once again that this is not a chore, we are so lucky to do what we do! I think I will steal your salt-sparkles idea for Christmas emails - I've left it far too late to send real paper ones.

    1. Oh, Cathy, thank you so much!
      Yes, we have fun in watercolour, neither obligation nor mannerism.
      Cathy, very happy to know my work has inspired you! Go for it and try it!
      Cheers, wink, wink, Sadami

  9. Engaging and informative, thank you,

    1. Hi, Celeste,
      Thank you for the kind cheers!
      Warm regards, Sadami

  10. Hola Sadami, me encantan todas tus acuarelas, la del guitarrista es realmente preciosa, creo que es por la escena en si, y tus experimentos con la sal fantásticos!! un abrazo

    1. Hola, Mari,
      Gracias por las amables estímulos. Sí, el guitarrista gustó ese dibujo. Vamos a divertirnos en el arte!
      Un abrazo, Sadami

      Hi, Mari,
      Thank you for the kind encouragements. Yes, the guitarist really liked that sketch. Let's have fun in art!
      A hug, Sadami

      >>> Mari said...
      Sadami Hello, I love all your watercolors, the guitarist is really beautiful, I think it's the scene itself, and your experiments with salt fantastic! a hug

  11. Your post is always so interesting and funny! Thanks dear Sadami!
    You know how to present things, always, in a way so special! I love your loose and powerful art work.
    I reflect so on my watercolor washes and my thinking about how water carries dreams and emotions... The colors, for me, are the visible form of happiness: use them makes me happy.
    Have nice days with watercolors!
    Warm regards,Rita.

    1. Dear Rita,
      Thank you so much. A loose style is very interesting and fun. When I decided to "loose up" my traditional style in the past, it took a bit time to come to this stage.
      Yes, like you mentioned above, washes convey dreams and emotions. So, I use it for picture book illustration in order to make readers happy. You, too, have a wonderful weekend!
      Warm reagrds, Sadami

  12. Dear Sadami:) As Judy told, sugar is not a good idea:) I won't go off and gives a sticky painting. Maybe to eat? I didn't try that!
    I love your new year card. Very sweet. Take care!!

    1. Dear sweet Renate,
      Thank you for sharing the BITTER experience! I have not tried it yet. But the point is your challenge spirit!! Go, go, Renate!
      Best wishes, Sadami