Watercolour, learning about white

What is white? Tricky once you start looking for a definitive true white.. As a test take a sheet of printer paper and hold it next to your own ‘white’ watercolour paper, try it next to your white paint… Hummmm not quite as white as you’d thought hey! So play with white from buff titanium to lead flake. Watercolour paints are beautiful because their translucency allows the whiteness of the paper to shine through, bringing them to life.  Once you add white watercolour paint to your colour pigments they become opaque, or body colour, think about gouache paints, flat and matt. So how do you achieve white? Use the white of the paper, either masking with fluid or covering with masking tape. Try dabbing out from wet washes with different materials such as tissues or sponges. Use a white crayon or oil pastel which will resist the watercolour pigments of overlying washes. Or play with scratching back through your paints to the white paper…. Experiment, play and discover…

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