Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Watercolour on Wood (1)

Recently I decided to do something I had an idea to do ages ago - but never got round to , you know how it is !!.............. Anyway  I thought I would get on with creating a piece of work using watercolour on to bare wood.  I think the wood I ended up  using was birch plywood.

Researching the technical application:

 One of the first things i did (thank goodness for the web) was to see if there were others working in this way.  Well I didn't find much which was a good thing in a way and at the same time not a good thing .

It would mean finding out the pros and cons for myself.  I found some mention of it on Wet Canvas which if you dont know of it has lots of discussion forums on different materials/ techniques  and  a Swedish artist Susanne Gottberg, was mentioned so I looked her up.  Here's one of her pieces:
Susanne Gottberg

Very accomplished technically and of course you CAN see that it is painted on wood - she had'nt done a lot of other works of this nature though.

Then I remembered a person on Flickr who used watercolor on to shaped wooden pieces - which I kind of liked although they were a bit too dreamy for my liking Stella Im Hultberg  
She lives in NY - very accomplished technically :

Stella Im Hultberg

They made me think of art nouveau and the work of people like  Aubrey Beardsley - although of course his work was much darker - well his personal pieces were.   It would seem he also did a lot of decorative portraits and book illustrations too (these no doubt paid the bills).   He was one of my early artist loves.  I have a book on him somewhere.   Here's one of his images - not too risque though ( I mean some of his stuff is outrageous).  

Its lovely seeing these again and admiring his amazing range of marks in his use of black ink on white paper.  Such elegance although sometimes its a bit O.T.T...........

I also found someone on Etsy who makes art works on wood which I particularly admired.
I very much liked her technique  although they make me think more of artwork that would be in a childrens book.  

What I like about them is the way the artist uses the paint on the wood. Being as I was so taken with her technical application I regret to say that I didnt make a note of her name.    I looked again on Etsy last night............. but could not find her shop which I want to put a link to. 

Here they are:

Note the very soft bleeding watercolour contrasted with the opaque cream colored paint and the very thin black line.

I love the general look of this one and how she has the edge of the bedspread indicated by directional line.  Note the variegated feint wash of the turquoise/green contrasted with the opaque bright white paint - which is a bit 'dry brush' in the pillow and nearby.   I like how the blobs of white  appear as blossom along  the branches , indicated in opaque black.
I shall continue to seek her work out on Etsy and put her name here as soon as I find it.  I hate to not attribute an image - it's so important.  

NOTE to artist who made these works:  
 I am sorry to not have attribution in order and am on the case.

I did see a lot of folk / craft art which people had for sale on the web but often it was very cutesy and twee and to me it didn’t have much merit so ultimately I didn’t find artists like myself,  exploring the possibilities of water color on wood so I got myself a piece of 60 x 60 cm wood and then started working on the imagery although I already had a few contenders.

UPDATE   I have had feedback as to the identity of the artist  on Etsy, whose artwork on wood I admired..............her name is    Kristiana Parn
her website

(thanks to the lovely.......... Wanda Hemmings) 


  1. This looks like the work of Minu, the NZ based artist. but I haven't time to check the site, she paints on wood.

  2. Hi,
    Fun blog! I love the idea of watercolor on wood. I have a friend who often works on wood, with watercolor too, but I believe she often puts a thin coat of gesso down first. Her name is Carla Sonheim.
    Her work isn't like yours, either, but you might find it interesting.
    Thanks for stopping over and commenting on my blog!


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