Watercolor on Clearprint Vellum
For today's review I played with watercolor. Though I'd done a watercolor background for yesterday's piece, I'd seen some of the paintings in the Clearprint gallery that were so much better, so I knew this combo could work.
While you can do some awesome things with watercolor on Clearprint Vellum, there are some things that don't work well. The paint dries quickly, so you don't easily get the drips and wet-into-wet color that are the hallmark of watercolor.
You don't have too much problem with backruns, but hard edges are almost impossible to avoid. Color goes on and dries pale, so you need to layer color if you want brighter.
That's another hallmark of watercolor--it performs differently on different papers, To get the most out of it, you expect that and learn how to use it for what it does. I still haven't got the hang of it on vellum. I think a larger size would help. All of the examples for this review are being done on half-sheets of 6" x 4" (except the last one), which is very small for a watercolor.
Overall, I think it's best to use your watercolor as a coloring medium similar to a marker (which the average beginner tends to do anyway), and then take advantage of one of the vellum's strengths.
You can lift color by using a wet brush or paper towel and gently dabbing at dried areas of paint. This works better on some papers than others, allowing you to get anything from almost the original color of paper, to a slight lightening of color.
Clearprint Vellum is great for lifting color. It allows you to blend colors more, and to get soft, muted areas after you've built up the brilliance by applying layers.
The paper did buckle and curl while the paint was wet, but flattened out almost completely after being weighted.
There was quite a bit of show-through but no bleed-through on the back. The stains along the edges are splashes from paint on the front. I didn't share a photo of the backlit effect because it didn't do very much. The layers of paint reduced the amount of light showing through. If you wanted a stained glass or lantern effect with watercolor, you would need to control your layers. It would work very nicely, I think, but would require more planning.
You can skip this part if you've already read it: Earlier this year, I participated in Clearprint's Cross-Country project. It is a fantastic deal. You let them know you want to join up, and they send you TWO of their Vellum field books. In one, you do a work of art, using whatever medium you desire, and within a week you send that book back to them. The second book is yours to keep! Forever!
Additionally, your artwork is uploaded to the Cross-Country gallery, and featured on the Clearprint Facebook page. I've been told the project will continue as long as there are pages left in the Cross-Country book, so you still have time to sign up!