For the painting “Arriving at the Mark Hopkins San Francisco”, I used a combination of splattering techniques. I already used splattering in a previous watercolour titled Dragon Gate (San Francisco).
I started “Arriving at the Mark Hopkins San Francisco” by executing a detailed drawing of the car, the doorman and the hotel entrance. This is a safety net I want to have before I get more experimental.
An important precaution before you start with this technique: protect the surface you are working on with a plastic sheet or old newspapers. It is impressive how far projections can go…
I splattered the lower part of the paper with masking fluid. To do that, I dipped a masking fluid applicator into the bottle of masking fluid and then slapped my hand on the table, close to the edge of the paper. I wanted both round shapes and elongated drips. I get the round drop by holding the applicator like a pen, but straight when shaking it downwards. To get elongated drip, I hold the loaded applicator like a spade, by the end of the handle.
Before I switched to splattering paint, I cut out a shape in a piece of mount board to mask the taxi. Cardboard works better than paper because the weight prevents it from flying away when you move around. I could have used masking fluids to mask the whole car, but it was quicker to cut out the rough shape in mount board and I had also already masked some parts of the car (the wheel hub cap, the tail lights...)
I created to types of projections:
1) To create the bigger drops, I used a squirrel brush fully loaded with diluted colours. I mixed the colours in a china well palette from watercolour in tube.
2) For finer drops of colours, I used an old toothbrush, running the bristles loaded with colours on the handle of another brush. This fine mist would be great to give texture to a sandy beach or a stone wall. This is like the aerograph of the poor.
Splattering different colours wet on wet yield interesting results, with the colours mixing randomly.
In the foreground, I also painted some loose strokes of colours to give more consistence and interest to the ground.