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Wet into Wet

Wet into wet simply means applying paint to a wet paper surface either wet with water or previously still-wet paint. The objective is to have the paint spread in an unpredictable manner. Painting with this technique gives you very little control over the spreading of the paint. This way, the paint reacts differently, depending on how wet the paper is and how much water you have added to your paint.

The painting above, "Orange Cat", is a good example of a semi-controlled wet into wet painting. The main subject (the cat) was penciled in, and then the outline of the cat, eyes and clouds were masked off. I then began the process of painting the sky with a brush and clear water. I let the paper sit for a few minutes and then applied blue in varying values depending on where I wanted it; the paint spread in a random manner. The cat was painted in sections using the same technique --only this time using different shades of red, orange and yellow. It was exciting to watch how and where the paint went. The yellow in the sky was painted last, along with the bushes behind the cat. Leaving the masking fluid in place until you are almost finished your main subject is helpful because it keeps paints from running in places you don't want it to go.

 Notes to remember:

1-       Mix lots of colour to your water because the paint will dry much lighter.

2-       Use more than one colour when working wet into wet this gives your painting interesting effects.

3-       If you are using more than one colour allow the first layer to dry slightly before you start another layer. This helps to achieve a bit more control.

4-       Don't work too much with the paint once it is laid because it gives a mucky look to your work.

5-       Paper should be 140lb (or better) or stretched before use.

6-       Learn to control this technique by practicing.

Until next time...have fun creating works of art.




This page was last updated on 09/17/02.