Watercolor pouring is an amazing technique and it allows us to make wonderful works of art. In this week’s Fluid Art podcast you are going to meet Leslie Lambert and her amazing work using watercolor.
If you like this kind of art and are eager to learn more about her watercolor pouring techniques, then you can’t miss this episode!
Meeting Leslie Lambert
Leslie’s connection with art began many years ago after she received a watercolor set with all of the beginning supplies. Leslie recalls, at this time I lived in Maryland and I remember initially being quite annoyed with her mother and pushed it under my bed.
Then one day after staying home from school due to not feeling well, she decided to pull out those watercolors and she has been in love with them ever since.
The Process Of Watercolor Pouring
During her process of creation, Leslie takes photographs and then puts them into Photoshop. With this tool, she can cut & paste and move things around if needed to get the composition that she wants. After that, she draws her picture very carefully out onto my piece of paper.
Once she has it drawn, she will use masking fluid to preserve the white areas she wants to save for the final step. Then once the masking fluid dries, she wets the paper and chooses her watercolors (three colors is her sweet spot but this is not a rule, as sometimes she uses up to 5 colors.)
To turn the colors she chose into liquid watercolors she puts them in little cups and simply adds water to them. Soon after that, she wets the paper and begins pouring paint across the paper. Everything is very spontaneous (with exception to strategically starting with her lighter values first) letting the colors flow together and deciding where they want to go.
Once the paint dries she uses the masking fluid again to save the next value that she just created and repeats this process several times (using the same three or five colors mentioned earlier but with more saturation and with a little bit thicker.)
She repeats this process about four or five times before she decides to calls it complete. Here are a some photos to get an idea of what her process looks like:
How Long Does It Take The Whole Process of Watercolor Pouring?
According to Leslie, it usually takes a week to finish one piece (usually masking in the morning, pouring it in the afternoon, and letting it sit overnight to make sure it has completely dried and been absorbed into the paper.)
Oftentimes she will work on two or three pieces at the same time so that way she can continue to create while the masking fluid is drying thus saving lots of idle drying time.
What Is a Masking Fluid?
Masking fluid is a liquid latex (it’s kind of like rubber cement) and it’s easy to find online or at your local art store. Leslie prefers Windsor Newton because it’s the easiest to find and she’s had a lot of success with it.
During her move from the USA to Canada, Leslie sought out many ways to keep in touch with her students and this motivated her started a blog with tips and inspirations intended to encourage them to continue painting.
After hearing many requests from her students asking for her help made it easy for her to continue publishing the watercolor lessons they were familiar with. It was an entire year later of daily devotion when Leslie was realized that much of this same insight could help others interested in watercolors.
Leslie says “after I did the book, I realized that the inspiration that I put in it was actually for me and is what inspired me to keep me going, to keep getting up, and painting every day. So by doing it for others, I was actually doing it for myself.”
For her, watercolor pouring helps her get into a meditative state, better manage her day, and better manage the people around her. That’s what Leslie discovered by getting up at 5 am and taking that time for her & her art.
What does Leslie do with her paintings?
Leslie sells most of her paintings, chooses which ones to give away (to her children or to family members), and she compares her paintings to a journal to watch how her skills have improved over the years.
Here are a couple portraits of her two children that she mentioned that she will keep for a lifetime.
When she looks at past paintings she remembers what she was feeling, what was happening in her life. She also has memories of her children at the time of the painting and this is very pleasant to her. The public can buy her work on her website watercolor365.com
If you decide to turn this watercolor pouring technique into your next creative project then we suggest starting with Leslie’s Pouring Colorful Watercolors where she teaches you how to create one of your very own Crabapple pour painting.
This post is a fraction of the latest installment of the fluid arts podcast. Our podcast is available on YouTube as well as iTunes. Don’t forget to view it and share it with your artist friends. Also, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to join our Facebook community. Thanks, and don’t miss our next episode!
Leslie Lambert Redhead is an artist, teacher, illustrator, and author known for her dramatic watercolors.
She has a Master of Education in Art Education and is represented by a gallery in Jackson, Wyoming “Horizon Fine Art”
Leslie continues to explore the possibilities and pushes the medium beyond its limitations to achieve luminous and incredible results that she shares with artists around the world in a weekly newsletter and a blog on watercolor 365 to stay up to date on what she is working on.