Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Window on the Past"--SOLD

"Window on the Past"
5" x 7"
original watercolor, marble dust and polymer medium
on archival cold-pressed paper

(Click on the image to see it larger...)

There is something both inviting and mysterious about a window, particularly one that has looked out upon the world for so long. This is an adobe window in the American Southwest, set into the thick walls that help keep the intense desert heat at bay.

I did this small painting to explore some techniques for my upcoming revision of
my 20-year-old North Light book,
Watercolor Tricks & Techniques: 75 New and Classic Painting Secrets

I tried out some of the new texture mediums, and then decided it would be more challenging and interesting to invent my own--so I borrowed some marble dust from a friend who paints with pastels, and mixed it into matte polymer medium for a somewhat rough texture, then painted it onto the paper and allowed it to dry.

Rough strokes approximate the texture of my subject.



The polymer medium sits on the paper surface, and allowed me to lift color with a damp brush, blotting away the loosened watercolor easily as you see here on the edges of the window frame.

I lifted more color to suggest the glass in the broken window, then used an Exacto knife to scratch the sharp edge of the glass, below--I was delighted with the way this helped suggest the dark mystery beyond.

Here, I chose granulating paint--Ultramarine Blue--which settled unevenly into the marble dust-created texture. When all was dry, I scraped paint away from the surface here and there to show the weathered quality of the old building and used a bit of spatter to further add the sense of great age.

It is a very atmospheric little piece!


Most of the paintings offered here are unframed, both to save on shipping charges and to allow you to suit your own taste and decor.

Doing so allows me to keep the prices down
and puts original art in the hands of more people!


SOLD, thank you very much!


  1. I am so impressed with how deeply you understand your medium (media is perhaps more accurate) and I am sure I would learn a lot from you. This little tutorial is certain evidence of that! You inspire me to go out and experiemnt, myself!

  2. Thank you so much! I have been painting with watercolors and writing about it, and teaching it, for a LOT of years now...I'm delighted that you're going to experiment!

  3. Hi Kate!
    I live with these wonderful colors and textures (Santa Fe) and just love your interpretation and demo.

    The painting is wonderful and, In fact, I just bought it.

    Great job! Also like the new blog look.

  4. Thank you so much, Jessica! My sister lives out there (Nevada) so I've had the opportunity to fall in love with the old buildings and desert scenery...

    I'm still tweaking the blog, a bit, but I like the cleaner look too!

  5. Oh dear. I think I have spatter .... must be age! Hee hee. Great image!


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