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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nevah say Nevah...on using Chinese White watercolor...April Cove...a Portage County landscape

April Cove - Portage County   Watercolor   20.5 x 13
Nevah say nevah is Bostonese  and is a bit of a conscience call to small-mindedness that creeps in when we think we have the correct solution for anything.  Just a few months back, I advised a watercolor student to pitch, yes, throw away, the tube of Chinese White that came with his set.  I am sorry, Chris.  Up until that point, I had seen far too many applications of this opaque white used in lieu of cherishing the whites of the paper which is my preferred technique of working in this transparent medium.  But recently, in our study of reflections in class, I used a thin application of Chinese White to smooth over some areas where the strokes seemed to be bothersome to me.  It allows a merging to occur.  And, I must say, I wish I had discovered this application many years ago!  Gouache is far more opaque and goes way too far in the destruction of the transparency.  I often use gouache in painting in the water medium, but usually in the background in order to intentionally juxtapose the polar opposites transparency:opacity.  And so I welcome this new bit of knowledge.....there have been many occasions where I wanted to quiet certain passages....and now I know how.  And, by the way, the visible whites in this work are cherished whites.

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