Fun with Watercolor: Resist Effects

Watercolor has always intrigued me, and much more so since being introduced to Gina Lee Kim’s colorful work. Her artwork is approachable and the colors are always bright and inviting. Gina’s Fun with Watercolor series of videos has it all. I decided to check out Fun with Watercolor: Resist Effects, and I’m glad I did.

watercolor resist

Gina painted a beautiful snow scene, using a variety of resist techniques: glue, masking fluid, liquid wax, salt, gel pens, and more. I decided to play along, but opted for an evening beach-inspired scene. Surprise!

I applied some resist areas: a moon, using a white oil pastel, and dots in the sky and some “sea grass” using masking fluid. It was time to paint.

I allowed the masking fluid to dry (with the help of a heat gun), painted a wash of water, and then added several colors of watercolor. I used a few shades of blue and some purple, and then added a mix of complementary colors to the sky area. Brown, rust, and gold were added to the bottom of the scene. You can readily see where the resists were applied.

watercolor resist

While the paint was still damp, I sprinkled some salt over the paper in several areas, being careful not to apply too much.

Here’s a detail.

watercolor resist

Pine trees were added, using several shades of green and a little blue, something I would not have tried before watching this video. The blue really added to the look of the trees. Gina also suggested adding some of the sky paint colors over the moon to make it blend into the scene better. The paint made the white circle more subdued, and it now looked more like a moon.

We also worked with some white gouache, mixing it with a little water and then splattering it over the painting. A white paint pen added nice details to the sea grass and trees. In Gina’s painting the splatters were snow. I think of them as stars in mine.

watercolor resist

I removed the masking fluid from the sky (the larger “dots” are where the masking fluid was) and grass, brushed off the dry salt, and decided I didn’t like the white of the grass. It was way too stark.

watercolor resist

I added thin lines of paint to the grass, using three different shades of green, some brown, and a little yellow and white. That was just the right touch, and I decided to stop there. What fun.

watercolor resist

I truly enjoyed watching this video and playing along, and I learned some new tricks along the way. Here are a few of the great tips I picked up from Gina:

  • When painting with watercolor, always apply a wash of water to your paper before you add paint, so that you don’t end up with hard edges of color.
  • Think your background color is too heavy or dark? Wet a large brush and, using the belly of the brush, roll over the dark areas to remove some of the color. This is the perfect way to save a background from disaster!

watercolor resist

  • Want to get rid of some unwanted puddles? Gina suggests using a tissue instead of paper towels to avoid transferring the texture of the paper towel to your painting.
  • Gel pens are a quick way to add a resist. Draw swirls, lines, or whatever you like.

watercolor resist

I had a lot of fun working along with Gina, and I learned a lot, too. If you’ve never tried watercolor, you’re in for a treat. And if you have, Gina has more than a few tricks up her sleeve, so this video is definitely worth watching!

Time for a little more watercolor fun . . .


~ Barb



Blog, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques, Mixed-Media Techniques

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