Some old friends recently moved to the Seattle Washington area for business. They spent a lot of time in Florida before moving and were starting to miss the warm Florida sun. Gary purchased this manatee painting for Joye as a Christmas present to help her cope with the Florida withdrawal. Art from a local artist makes a great gift. It is also my first painting to make the trip to the west coast and I couldn’t have picked a better place to send it.
The painting is done in an experimental process where I paint watercolor on canvas. I first began by using Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground to gesso over a pre-primed canvas. This allowed the watercolor to absorb into the canvas. I prefer to use Daniel Smith Watercolor Paints, but on this painting I used a combination of watercolors that I have accumulated over the years. After painting the Manatee, I felt it was still a little dull. I wanted to find a way to make the manatee vibrant and pop off the canvas. To achieve this effect I decided to experiment with some Derwent Intense Ink Pencils I’ve had in my desk. I was amazed at how bright these pencils were. They are water soluble so they still held true to the water color feel I was trying for.
The biggest concern I had with painting a watercolor of canvas was how to protect the pigments from the elements. This is when I conferred with fellow watercolorist Jennie Szaltis, who recommended that I use Krylon’s Matte Finish. I sprayed a few coats and called it finished. Although I still recommend protecting the painting from any kind of moisture, it at least gives it a small layer of protection.
Painting in this new process was fun and exciting and I’m sure I’ll paint more with this technique soon.