Sketching the historic 1921 CW Parker Carousel!

I went with the Portland Urban Sketchers group to Jantzen Beach to sketch the Carousel before it goes into storage later this spring for renovation of the mall.  It was fun to listen to the music and see the little kids, some terrified but most loving the ride.  Most of the sketching happened while the carousel was loading and unloading.  We were all surprised by how many of the horses had their mouths opened with big teeth showing - no wonder some of the kids were scared!  See more Carousel sketches by the group on the PDX Urban Sketchers blog:

Pouring Watercolor

I've been experimenting with pouring watercolor lately.  I've tried several techniques with varying success - this first example of a river running through a rocky mountainous area was done on a sheet that I had poured for a different subject - but the colors were too bright and not really in the correct areas for the original subject.  So, the sheet sat around my studio for a couple of weeks before I noticed that there was a fairly light area in about the same place that the river would run.  I had intended to keep the poured colors a bit more intact but got carried away and inserted a lot of green local color for the trees (sigh . . . overworked again!).  Nevertheless, I am fairly pleased with this one.
It's on a quarter sheet of Arches Cold-pressed 140# paper with Winsor Newton artists watercolor tube paint.

This next one is a Sunflower done on a scrap piece of paper that had a very light textured yellow ochre background - I sketched out the sunflower and masked a few of the lighter areas, then poured a layer of yellow, orange, and green paint.  Once this dried, I masked a few more areas and let that dry.  Then I poured a final layer of dark blue, green and red.  After that was dry, I pulled off the frisket - unfortunately, some of the underlying areas must not have been completely dry before I applied the masking fluid because the paper pulled up in a couple of places.  I finished the piece with some texture by splattering paint, sprinkling on a bit of salt, and finally brought out some of the petal shapes with a micron pen.  This one is about 8x10 sheet of Arches Cold-pressed 140# paper with Winsor Newton artists watercolor tube paint

Pouring is a an exciting way to build some very interesting color transitions and effects.  The process of masking is tricky to apply and adds a tedious element of waiting required to ensure that the paper is completely dry before applying and the masking fluid is completely dry before additonal painting.  But, if you have the patience for it, the effects can be stunning.