Watercolor Portraits on DANIEL SMITH Iridescent Gold Watercolor Ground
by Molly Murrah
This is the painting I did at the demo. The paper had already been stretched, the ground applied, and the drawing transferred before I started. The painting was 75% finished in about an hour, and I finished it later at home. Such fun!
Last spring, I was asked if I would do a summer demo at the DANIEL SMITH Bellevue store. I have great fun doing DANIEL SMITH demos, so I knew I would say “yes.”
What I didn’t know was what I would demonstrate. One way I keep myself growing as an artist is to make commitments that will force me to learn something new — painting on DANIEL
SMITH’s Iridescent Gold Watercolor Ground was definitely “something new.” I had only finished one painting on the ground and was uncertain about the process at best, but true to my leap-before-I-look approach to art, my demo — “GOLD MAGIC: Portraits on DS Gold Watercolor Ground” — came to be. I did two additional portraits on the gold ground before presenting the demo.
First, I thinned the ground with a little bit of water and applied one coat over the entire surface of my paper. After letting it dry overnight, I then applied a second coat using perpendicular
strokes. The gold ground is made from Mica PW 20 and Iron Oxides, suspended in an acrylic emulsion. Once it is dry it is permanent, so I would suggest using separate brushes for the ground to avoid ruining a favored brush. (On one of my paintings, I used a foam edger for painting interior trim; you can also use inexpensive foam brushes.) The gold ground is water-soluble until dry, therefore cleanup is fairly easy. Just try to get as much of the pigment off the brush as possible before cleaning thoroughly with gentle soap and lukewarm water.