Image size 15" x 22"
I really fought with this painting! I planned for it to be a poured painting but as soon as I got the paper wet, I knew I was going to have problems. Even though I haven't had this paper very long (maybe 18 months) the sizing was gone so it acted like a blotter paper. Of course, I have no way of knowing how long the paper was in the art supply store before I purchased it.
I did do a couple of pours but because there was no sizing, the paint just soaked in and didn't move so I got streaks instead of flowing color. I had spent so much time drawing this that I didn't want to throw it away so I began to paint it with a brush.
When there is no sizing, it's impossible (for me anyway) to build strong darks because the paints continue to soak into the paper and disappear so I decided to paint a layer of matte medium over the whole painting to seal it and then continued painting. Of course, once the paper is sealed it is no longer absorbent so the paint sits on the surface and when you try to add darker layers, it tends to lift your previous layers. I had to use a really light touch and dab rather than brush on the paint.
I used the QoR paints again and started with that same triad - quinacridone gold, indanthrone blue and alizarin crimson. One interesting thing about the paper not having any sizing is that the paints meld together and sink into the paper and become so soft looking that it almost looks like the painting is on suede. After I sealed the paper, I decided that the colors were almost too soft and neutral because they had all blended together, so I added a mixture of thalo blue (green shade) and green gold to bring some brightness to the painting. I'm really happy with the way the colors look and it was nice to use these paints in a way that shows off their subtle colors since the other paintings that I've done with them have been pretty bright.
In the future, I don't think I would choose to paint on paper without sizing (like printmaking paper) but I do have a lot of watercolor paper that I've had for years and since sizing seems to degrade over time, I will probably be in this situation again.
Even though it is a challenge to paint on paper with no sizing, I think that forcing myself to make it work was a very good exercise.
I'm really happy with how this painting turned out so I'm glad I stuck with it and didn't let the paper win! This painting is one of my favorites so far which is saying a lot since I've painted well over 300 paintings in the past six years.