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Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Pair of Parrots

Here is another version of the green parrot project for my Watercolor Workshop Group. This time I experimented with ideas from Karlyn Holman's books about using oriental papers and Yes!Paste to collage the background leaf area around the parrots. I have several of Karlyn's books and love her many wonderful ideas to "break the mold" and experiment.
Here is the URL for Karlyn Holman's web site. There she lists her books and DVD's. She is a great inspiration!

In this painting, I saved the area I wanted to paint the parrots in, as "saved white", then worked colors into the background in a wet-in-wet method. While these were still wet, I started tearing off small pieces of the oriental paper, various sizes and laying them around the parrots. I used a wet brush to paint them into the colors there. Next, I let everything completely dry. The next day, I opened the Yes!Paste jar and added a small puddle of water on top of the paste and worked it around with a brush until I had a nice "paint quality" that I could paint over the pieces of oriental paper. This did not disrupt the colors already there and glued the oriental paper down. When this was dry, I could add any other colors I wanted, define the tree stump, leaves etc. and paint in the parrots. I used white oriental paper with some gold threads running through it on the leaf area and on the tree stump I used some oriental paper with a sort of bark, brown leaf quality.

When I shared my painting with the Watercolor Workshop group, questions were raised about the archival quality of the Yes!Paste. This sent me off to seek an answer. It turns out that when the paste was first on the market, it had a different composition and was not archival. But, they developed a new formula and changed the paste. It is now very archival and used by many artists and by scrapbookers and and other crafters. It is available at most art and craft stores and from DickBlick and Cheap Joe's and other art suppliers.

Since I painted this one, I have found that Daniel Smith's Catalog is a wonderful source of oriental papers that can be used in this method.
They are listed under "Decorative Papers" and some are made in Japan, in Thailand and in Napal. The thin, lace, filmy qualities are great to use in this way.


  1. I love your parrots, Elsie - they have such great movement to them and the colors are great. I also love your posts on watercolor workshop - they are so humorous and refreshing - you have such a talent for writing!

  2. Hi, Barb,
    Thanks so much for dropping by the blog and commenting! WCW is such an inspiring group to belong to!