Work in progress 22 by 30 Koi


Koi in progress

I woke up yesterday with this, huh…. lets call it an “urge” to paint BIG again, these small paintings are fun and the discipline it takes to paint them everyday is helping me in many ways but there isn’t anything quite like painting BIG. This isn’t even that big but for most watercolorists it’s a full sheet of paper and is considered large. For those who are not familiar…a full sheet of paper is 22 by 30. After putting water over both sides of the paper, I lay in the first large layers of paint( the brush does not scrub the paper) Then I use clean water to pull out the fish, then I wait… & I called Daniel Smith ( large art supplier in Seattle) and ordered a roll ( $139.00) of 156 lb paper so I can paint even larger. I think I have to go even bigger.

The rolls are ten feet by 51 inches… A little tough to man handle but we’ll see.

I can’t tell you why an artist goes in any particular direction but I value my intuition and place a lot of credence in the direction it takes me. It says paint large and so I will. Instead of putting up a small daily painting I will put up my work in progress so you can see what I get done each day. This is day one. I forgot to mention one step…. I painted the entire piece of paper with clean water. Then I spritz it with water and allow nature to takes it course, before it drys I pull out the paint where I want the foreground objects to appear. Its kind of like fishing (ha ha ) you look at it and look for the fish and they appear. I have plenty of reference material nearby to view so I can get a feel for how they actually swim and hold themselves in water . I use the reference material only as a spark, it’s not there to use as a bible so to speak but only for a direction.
Palette watercolor table

When I paint large I do away with the butcher trays and such and use two things for a palette, small white porcelain tiles for certain colors I wish to keep out of my other mixes, such as the black in the above photo. The second and this is important, as you see here it’s my table top. It has a slick surface. I went to the hardware store and bought this stuff they use it for backspashes and other water resistant areas in restaurants and homes. I had one cut to the size of my library table. I put the paint directly on this surface and just wipe it off with a damp towel when things become too messy. Sometimes I like the table top better then the painting, but not this day.
Today, The painting is just as beautiful.

So far everything is fine and I could have finished it had it not been for some guests that popped in for Pizza.

Well gotta eat so tomorrow is another day. check back with me so you can see its progress.KOI BIG 22 by 30

Are you surprised to see I paint with mostly flat brushes? Its another one of those things, its very individual to each artist. For me its about the feel and these brushes are personal to my touch and are an extension of my voice.
I have a number 10 round I use for smaller areas and a #12 flat that I also use for the smaller areas. Everything else is with these larger 1 1/2 to 3 inch brushes. You may have noticed I use bristle brushes. These are magic and I can only say you may want to try them.
 KOIBIGbrushes

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One thought on “Work in progress 22 by 30 Koi

  1. Shanti,

    I like seeing you go BIG with this one and look forward to seeing it completed. Looking great so far and it’s always fun to see how another artist paints, uses the paint and what kind of brushes he/she uses 🙂 I used to use only flats but have gone to all rounds now – just feels right for me.

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