St. Julians – Wet on Wet

By: Joseph Casapinta | 2 Jul 2015

St. Julians
Today I wanted to share with you my latest painting of St. Julian’s Malta done in a wet on wet technique.

I start off by stretch an Arches watercolour 300gsm paper and for those who are new to watercolour, this time I will be explaining my application in wet on wet.  This techniques has been used for centuries not only with the watercolour but other mediums such as oils and acrylic. This allows me to blend colours together creating tonalities and wonderful glazes.

What is different in this style of painting than any of my other paintings? Both as a landscape and a seascape artist, with wet on wet I am free to express my emotions, my moods, my interpretations and impressions of the subject matter .  For those who have seen some of my latest works, you might have noticed that I start off my painting in pen,  letting the ink show throughout the painting, creating a sketch which keeps on developing throughout the watercolour process, ending with a contour image of the subject matter  In this case, the painting of St. Julian’s is purely in watercolour.  Alla Prima! having started off with a very rough pencil sketch, I wash in tones of colour through the sky. This time an early morning sky with a mix of Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna and a touch of Yellow Ochre. I never mix more than 3 glazes.   The cobalt blue keeps on running over the monstrous buildings, which have taken over St. Julian’s skyline,  so I leave the background with none whatsoever detail letting it fade away with further washes of Burnt Sienna and Neutral tint.

A word About Neutral Tint:

Neutral Tint allows you to darken a colour and yet keep it’s transparency, enhancing darkness for foregrounds and shadows.  It helps in toning down a colour such as in the painting, the toning down of the Cobalt and Burnt mix.  Due to the fact that I am using a limited colour palette it allows me to mix with every colour I have on my palette, yet retaining a full mix irrelevant of the colour I am using.

The Wet on Wet Process:

The painting has a number of glazes, using the Burt Sienna mixed with shades or blues and Neutral Tint.  Letting the glaze to to dry, or I would say that a hair-dryer has come in handy to hasten up the drying process, I am now allowed to continue the painting applying dry brush strokes for detailing on the foreground, finally finishing off with some whites.

I have surely enjoyed the whole process of this painting and may this blog help you all in trying out this great medium.

Colours used:

Cobat Blue, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Indigo, Quinacridone Gold, Neutral Tint