Lorene applying first of many washes with hake brush.
Lorene Lovell's watercolor demo was filled with tips and facts but what was enjoyed most was her humorous delivery. She said she had always been a "good girl" wanting to please everyone in her youth but lately she has been breaking rules... like using Chinese white! And that's not all she's broken... like both her legs! One was broken when she fell off a ladder and the other while dancing (and, no, it wasn't on top of a table).
Between the laughter, we watched her wet 140 lb paper with a hake brush (three times). Her palette is a muffin pan normally filled with Naples yellow, sepia, burnt umber, alizarin crimson, Davy's gray and Payne's gray. For the demo she also had Prussian green and Hooker's green. These are colors she loves and is comfortable with.
Along with color mixed with a mixture of 1/4 cup water and 1/2 tsp dish detergent (Dawn is best!), she sprinkles individual grains of regular table salt in specific places to create "swirls and holes" for a textured background. Then she lets it completely dry. Hairdryer? Won't work! Let it dry naturally. Also, humidity affects the salt. During the rains earlier this week, she said she couldn't get the effect she likes. It works best when the humidity is low.
After the desired background is dry, Lorene brings out her magic brush... an Escoda size 8 (reservoir liner) to create details over the background. She demonstrated making clouds and trees, as well as bringing many samples of her technique to help us try to emulate her technique on our own.
One of Lorene's favorite subjects is birds. When she paints them, she does not start with a lot of detail... just the outline. She paints the specifics as she goes along. And she always starts with its eyes. "It is the soul of the bird." Last night, we not only learned about Lorene's technique but we also got a glimpse of her soul. Thank you, Lorene, for a wonderful presentation.