Cling film gets a bad rap. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one). I’ve been wanting to experiment with it for quite some time, and have never felt brave enough. However, a friend who recently went on an ‘Experimental Watercolour’ workshop had some great results using it, and I badly wanted a piece of that paint action.
At art galleries the pictures I’m most drawn to are the night scenes, and for a while I’ve been considering trying to create my own. In the spirit of experimentation, I thought I’d have a go, and work in the cling film magic too.
I started by sketching out a scene on stretched paper, and drew in an opportunity to create a rocky foreground. Before reaching for the paint, I masked out the moon, some stars, a few lights on the coastline and a little of the moon’s reflected light on the water.
Throughout the picture I restricted the colours, using Payne’s Grey, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and Cobalt Blue. Having wet the paper in the foreground I slapped on my four colours (broadly speaking two to the left, two to the right for a bit of variation) and laid on the cling film, crumpling it to get what I hoped would be the look of a rocky cliff. Impatient as ever, I was helped by the sunshine outside and didn’t have to wait too long to peel off. Wow! I was so pleased to see the results (and still am).
I swept in a mix of Payne’s Grey and Burnt Umber for the main landmass, and Payne’s Grey only for the water. The sky gave me the most trouble, and was a mix of Payne’s Grey and Cobalt. I tried to add some drifts of cloud with salt, but the effect wasn’t right, so I ended up trying to remove the salt, repaint, and then lift off a little cloud with a sponge – same for the halo round the moon. Mixed success there.
When all was dry again, I removed the masking fluid, and added in a little hint of yellow on the lights, just to prevent them from being too stark a contrast.
It’s true to say that I had a real blast today. I will definitely be using cling film again!