Watercolour White

Watercolour white is a total conundrum – added to other paints it destroys transparency, one of the most treasured qualities of aquarell art, added on top of watercolour layers does the same, without really whitening the area, layered over white paper remains invisible and useless… so most watercolour artists suggest leaving the white areas untouched, claiming “there’s no white in watercolour, our white is the white of the paper”. But for the white to truly glow, some colours and shades have to be added. Here’s how these three masters solve the problem.

Using the tinted paper and gouache, in addition to watercolour, is the way Marie Silver @marie_silver_36 resolves the dilemma. Marie’s sketchbooks provide a series of wonderful examples, showing how mixing the media can help preserve the looseness and beauty of watercolour, while allowing for a more graphic and concrete presentation.

Evgenya Babicheva Sheglova @evgenyasheglova, master of botanical illustration, has a keen eye for myriads of soft shades of gray, blue, green and yellow found in seemingly ‘plain white’ flowers. In addition, Evgenya manages to find the right consistency of each shade, so the resulting artwork ends up being entirely breathtaking.

Watercolour artist and teacher Stephanie Boechat @stephanie_boechat uses wide tonal range of Payne’s gray and dark blues to shape beautifully loose watercolour painting of a white lighthouse. Leaving the white of the paper on lightest parts, Stephanie adds shades of grey gradually, starting with the most diluted, lightest tone and ending with the most saturated colour in the shaded areas.

Visit Lana’s Instagram gallery @calico.brush

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