In addition to my two watercolor sketchbooks I also brought a pack of watercolor postcards with my sketching supplies. The small size of these cards makes for a handy small scale sketching kit for quick studies on the go. The cards were 4 x 6 inch Fluid 100 cold pressed paper, a surface I hadn't worked on before. And maybe it was because of that, or maybe because I was sitting on the beach in the warm sun, but the first few sketches that I tied with this paper (not posted here) were not making me happy. It was like working with markers, the paper just sucked up the pigment before I could move it on the surface. So out of frustration I removed a blank page from the pack and dipped it into the surf until it was totally saturated.
Returning to my spot on the beach, I laid the wet card on my towel and began again painting the surf. The salty sea water allowed the paint to move in delightfully suprising ways. While Kiddo enjoyed the waves riding her skimboard, I happily painted the movement of the surf exploring the colors of the sea and sky.
I so enjoyed the effect of watercolor paint on this saline saturated paper that I repeated the experiment on another afternoon.
I began thinking what fun it would be to do this process on a much larger scale, with big brushes. It is something I may try here in my studio, although I don't know if our mountain well water that comes from a spring will allow for the same effects that ocean water creates.