As I was walking through the stationary and art supplies section of our local Wal*Mart, I happened upon these little bottles with a sponge on top.Â They are for moistening glue on stamps and envelopes.Â I wondered, though, if they might be used as a type of waterbrush.Â I immediately began thinking about washing paint, painting wet on wet, or… TREES!Â I don’t know if Bob Ross is the one who invented the idea of “stabbing” paint at a canvas to make happy little trees, but I remember watching it every weekend on PBS.Â He would take a fat round brush and stab paint, then come back and create highlights with a stiff, flat brush, his knife, or just the stick end of the brush.Â Then, of course, he would make some white and gray M’s in the sky and call them birds.Â Happy little birds for the happy little trees.Â So I bought two of them to experiment with.
I decided to do a quick evergreen.Â I filled the little bottle up and proceeded to load it with paint.Â If you decide to do this, remember that for most evergreens you stab from the top down and out in a triangle.Â For most diciduous trees, start in the center of the base of the triangle and work out and up.Â That may be a different lesson some day, today we’re just playing with a sponge bottle.
The first thing I noticed was the rapid flow of water on this thing.Â Loading it with paint was a chore.Â As a matter of fact, it was hard to tell if I was loading the sponge with paint, or if I was just flooding the pan.Â Application wasn’t much different.Â You can see that I was able to get a couple of good stabs in, but after that it just washed the paper.Â Not bad if wet on wet is what you’re going for, but I was really going for stark and bold.
As the paint dried, I decided to try and add some branches and some highlights with my regular water brush.Â This is when I decided that I should really look into getting some opaque paints.Â I knew that if I tried to add another layer of green on top that this would just become mud.Â Then I remembered the lifting technique that I played with last week.Â So, I patiently watched Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory with my beautiful young bride and Girl2 while the paint dried.
I quickly found that the sheer flood of water coming from the sponge didn’t allow for any control what so ever, at least not in the application I had chosen.Â Again, this would have been fine for wet on wet, or even just to create the wash of sky, ground, and shadow.Â But, as a paint applicator I found it severely lacking. As I stared at it, though, I wondered what I could do to control the flow of water.Â My waterbrush, for instance, has a bit of sponge inside the tip before the bristles are attached.Â I wonder what would happen if I stuffed this area with cotton or silk to allow water through, but not a straight flow.Â I also wondered what would happen if I filled them with paint and used them on a much larger application?Â Let me play with it for a week and let’s see what all we can come up with.Â If you have any comments or suggestions, I would love to hear about them!Â Leave a comment below, or email me.
Tune in for next week’s Monday Discovery for part II.