Last week we talk about "Use a brush that's bigger". Today let's continue this idea and talk about using a smaller paper. Using a smaller paper is something I recommend for most of students, especially the ones who just getting started.
I was working on the above piece last week. It is painted on 18x24 paper, which is bigger than what I usually like to work with. When you work on a big paper, you have to be extra mindful of drying time. If you work on an area for too long, the other part of the wash might be dry before you know it. That can be a stressful experience.
I am not suggest that big paintings are bad, but it is a bit more challenging to keep the over all painting looking fresh when painting big. I talked about the principle of "one wash, one shape" before, and when you work large, you are dealing with much larger washes. Larger washes gives you less time to play with it wet on wet. If you do choose to paint large, remember to keep a spray bottle handy to keep the wash moist.
Painting with a bigger brush on a smaller paper may sounds odd, but give it a try! If you are able to paint that way with ease, watercolor will start to make much more sense to you. As you progress and getting more and more familiar with the medium and how to tackle a subject, you can then start painting on bigger paper.