Drawing From Life

By lauragyoung


Oddly enough, one of the best tools a watercolorist can have at their disposal is a hair dryer. Watercolor paper isn't true paper, in the sense that it's not made from wood pulp, but from densely pressed cotton fibers. When using the thicker grades, say 300lb cold press, it has the tendency to stay wet for ages -- which is great for making those characteristic sweeping skies and blended washes that watercolor is known for. That said, it can take seemingly forever to dry when one is doing subjects that require multiple layers of paint application. Thus the hair dryer. Hours can be reduced to minutes, if used correctly. (Not too close to the surface, with the setting on "low" and/or "cool") At times, I use it so much that I feel more like I'm working in a beauty salon than an art studio.

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