Thursday, March 19, 2009

Varnishing Watercolors

A new trend is to varnish a watercolor painting so it can be framed without glass. It protects the painting from dust and makes it water-resistant. It's nice to be able to view the art directly without glass or plexi covering it. I have had success with this method and like the look. This current piece "Three Big Macs" is varnished and really pops in the frame without the glare of glass. I had a disaster when I originally coated the apples because I was in a hurry and sprayed too much varnish at one time. It actually diluted the color and washed it out. I thought it was ruined. BUT......I discovered that you can paint over the varnish and I was able to correct it back to its original color. Hurray! This piece is available with a striking black frame and linen mat for $1200 on my website http://www.dianemorganpaints.com/

9 comments:

Sheila said...

These are gorgeous! Luscious, ripe and vibrant. Thank you for sharing the varnish tip also. I love blog visits. I learn so much.

Edward Burton said...

Wonderful painting, Diane! Such beautiful vibrant colors.

Diane Morgan said...

Thanks Sheila and Ed. The colors were pretty rich to begin with, but the varnish accentuates them.

L.Holm said...

These are mouth-watering, Diane. What varnish do you use? Is it water-based? mat? gloss? Fascinating that you can paint over it!

Diane Morgan said...

Liz, I'm still learning about the varnish process. Some artists put theirs on with a brush, but one told me he wrecked a few paintings before he got the hang of it. I use a spray can of Krylon Matte Finish. I'm sure it's not water-based. For my oils I use a water-soluable varnish because I use water-soluable oils. I may try that on the watercolors next. Yes, I was so surprised that I could paint over the watercolor. Maybe that was a fluke. Hope I don't have to find out :-}

L.Holm said...

Thanks for the info, Diane! Really interesting. I'm going to give it a test. : )

Barb Hillier said...

I love the strong bold colors, it's absolutely beautiful. I went to oils to avoid light reflection from glass but am having issues with the odors. How do you support the paper or are you painting on board?

Diane Morgan said...

Hi Barb, I paint on 300# Arches cold press watercolor paper. It's quite sturdy. For framing there's always a foamcore board as backing. For my oils, I use water soluable oils. You can thin the paint with water and clean brushes with soap and water so that eliminates the turp smell. There's a little odor to the paint, but not as bad as I remember from the old days.

Gwen Bell said...

I love the rich color in the piece. Great job!