Katherine wet the paper twice with water, after the first wetting she left it and mixed the paints up and then quickly re-wet the whole paper once again. She explained that in the studio she would use a whole sheet of watercolour paper and would immerse the whole sheet in the bath. Using 300lb paper for most of her work she explained that the paper needed a good soaking as it was very dense.
Using this technique the water colour paints would move around and drip and spread into one another for quite a long time and this was what she needed to happen to get the full impact of the background.
Obviously two coats of water, even though the paper was 140lb weight, was not going to stay wet enough to be worked on for that long before it began to dry out. This was also not helped by it being a warm July evening and the hall being quite warm too.
Katherine put quite intense colours on the wetted paper dripping into other colours and keeping the very edge of the last colour to be used, wet. This was done by running a wetted brush along the very edge of the colour therefore letting the colour soften out. She explained that some colours would drop into other colours and create effects like salt would make, very interesting to watch. Katherine did say we should just play with the paints and see what they do, experiment a little! Something I feel we don’t probably do enough of maybe.
When she had made quite an impression with many colours on the paper she had brought, she put the sheet to one side to dry off before continuing with anymore painting to it. This whole process took quite a long time to build up the amount of colour that was needed for the next stage of the painting.
Katherine then got out a whole sheet of highly coloured paper that had been painted quite a long time ago and started to lift out with an acrylic brush. This was amazing to watch. It took some time to see where this was going and then fish began to appear with the most interesting colours showing through from the background colours.
Bearing in mind that this piece of paper had been painted in vibrant colours many months ago, I couldn’t believe quite how easily the paint was being lifted off to create images. Mainly the outline of the fish was being taken out just with a little scrub of the acrylic brush and a dab of a dry towel. A little paint reapplied to give shadow and shape and there were the fish.