Saturday, August 26, 2017

Art: Saved Experiment Scrap (Mt. Fuji-san)

Mt. Fuji-san rendered in watercolor and gouache on August 9, 2017, before the Aquapasto had arrived.

I was only able to save this small scrap from a mostly failed art experiment. This piece incorporates watercolors and gouache. I'm happy with the mountain's texture—although it took a bit of tough moisture control as most Western watercolors have ox gall to facilitate spreading rather than preserving texture. (The exception, or so I've heard, are the Holbein western-style watercolors from Japan.)

The white gouache was applied as impasto, but I'm not satisfied with the wispiness of the application. A truly thick application results sometimes in gouache cracking. I attempted to add gouache to watercolors to create an impasto-style sky, but I don't think it works.

I want to try this again with the Aquapasto medium in the gouache and watercolors. I don't know if I want to combine two styles—the subtle shading of the mountain, which can be done with small amounts of Aquapasto medium, combined with the bold strokes of the clouds and sky around it; or simply to bold-stroke the whole thing (though perhaps with smaller strokes for the mountain).

I definitely want to vary the type of strokes, not simply fill in the picture with a single stroke type—and to use strokes to accentuate the chi (spirit) of the subjects—the mountain, the sky, the clouds. And as always, composition.

(I'm fond of asymmetrical composition, which I want to try to break down into principles some day.)

Ava Jarvis is an ink and watercolor artist with a portfolio site at If you found this post useful, consider a one-time tip or supporting Ava on Patreon.