There are many ways to accomplish painting a background in watercolor. This is an example of a poured background. With this technique you actually make up a small container of watercolor by putting in water (amount depends on how large your picture is, I used 1/4 cup of water for each color (yellow, orange, red orange) you then add your paint until it is the color you want. You Mask out completely all areas that are not background. Wet the surface of your paper and "pour" the paint on, tilting the paper and letting it run and mingle. Let it completely dry, remove your mask and paint the main portion of your painting.
There are also washes, glazes, sprinkling salt onto a wet area, dropping alcohol into a wet area, etc. Starting Today and continuing tomorrow I thought I would show you a step by step technique that I love, especially when doing a floral or botanical painting as it turns out almost looking like folage when done. It is using Saran Wrap.
The first thing you do is "stretch" your paper, don't know why they call it that. Tape it down to the surface of your choice, I use a piece of glossy foam board. Draw your picture next. I am using a photo taken by another artist friend for this painting.
This is the picture of my photo reference (photo is the property of Audrey at Magic Miracles and Joy of being an artist, who has given me permission to paint it):
This is my prepared paper and drawing:
You can click on the pictures to make them larger. I have left this picture a little dark and also have drawn my pencil lines a little darker than I normally would in order for them to show.
Now for those that would like to follow along you must now go and mask out your main picture, It takes a lot of mask so you can just do a good border around all of your images that are not background. I am going to go and mask off my areas I do not want to get paint on and I will be back tomorrow to show you how to do the background. I use a liquid Mask that comes in a small bottle with a nib that allows you to draw thin or thick lines, some mask comes in a bottle that you can apply with a brush. Mask is also called Frisket. Use any kind that you are comfortable with, and that can be removed easily.
Here is an example of a Saran Wrap Background to show you what the effect will look like:
See you back here tomorrow.