Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Mixing it up

Pussy Willow
watercolour & metallic printmaking ink
© Teresa Newham

I first noticed the contrast reflected in the television screen, of all things; the stems of pussy willow in the copper jug next to the fireplace were positively glowing against the red tablecloth behind them.  As I took some photos, the ideas were already forming for an experimental piece using just a couple of colours: include the pattern of the Turkish kelim on the floor and perhaps the flowered cushion, too?

source photos and initial layout
© Teresa Newham

I sketched out a design one morning while I was taking a turn stewarding at Gallery32, and soon realised that the vivid Quinacridrone Red background would be a lot easier to create behind those pussy willow stems if I masked them off.  Now, masking fluid and I don't usually get along - I've ruined more promising work than I care to remember while attempting to use it - but it occurred to me that I'd never tried it on the heavy Arches paper I've grown to love. So perhaps it was time to be brave . . .

masked - and unmasked!
© Teresa Newham

And it worked! So well, in fact, that I felt somewhat foolish that I hadn't thought to try it before.  Or perhaps I was just lucky.  Either way, I hadn't ruined an expensive piece of watercolour paper and I had in front of me exactly what I needed to progress.  I began to build up the painting with more of the red and some Burnt Umber, feeling my way into it as it's not in my usual style; it seemed appropriate to add texture to the rug and the pussy willow so I just carried on and hoped it would all work out!

making it up as I go along
© Teresa Newham

Finally I painted in the jug using Schminke copper printmaking ink mixed with pearliser, with some plain copper ink on top for good measure.  You can't see it in the photo, but that jug has a definite metallic glow.  And I'm already thinking about my next venture into the world of mixed media!!

the finished piece
© Teresa Newham


  1. This is brilliant - I love it; what a triumph! The colours are just fabulous. More please!