World Turning (World Watercolor Month, #2/31)

The beakers are bubbling over here! I was browsing YouTube and came across a video explaining how to do a gesso resist with watercolor.   I’ve never tried that!    And an idea for last night’s painting (finally!) was born.


As most of my abstracts are, this one was a journey. I started with a watercolor wash in Azo yellow (M. Graham). Once it was dry, I used a bunch of re-purposed vitamin and spice bottle lids to stamp Liquitex Gesso on my surface.  Then went back in with M. Graham Prussian blue and phthalo blue……and finally journeyed to Winsor and Newton green gold and M. Graham quinacridone gold. (When looking for a punch, always think quinacridone!) I couldn’t get Fleetwood Mac’s “World Turning” out of my head about halfway through – a journey all its own hehe.    I finished up by pushing back a bit of the dark blue and dark yellow areas with Golden Open Zinc White acrylic paint, as described in this post from last month.    (Note:   As a Blick Art Materials affiliate, purchases from these links will help to support my site.   Thank you!)

I hope you enjoyed it.   Hopefully, I’ll be posting a painting in watercolor every day this month to celebrate World Watercolor Month, courtesy of Charlie at Doodlewash!  Peace and Happy Independence Day weekend to all! *insert fireworks emojis here*

89 thoughts on “World Turning (World Watercolor Month, #2/31)

    1. OMG I love this one! Blues and greens are my favorite colors and this is just stunning – especially with the texture. The round shapes are soothing – very nice to look at. I’m new to watercolors so I don’t understand everything you’re talking about but I’m trying to learn and understand.

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      1. Oh, Carol, if you are new to watercolor, you are in for a treat. It can be so much fun to just watch it do its own thing. I am so happy that you love this painting. It was really just an experiment in combining acrylic gesso which is a thick white paint that has a little bit of grit, which we call tooth, into a painting. The gesso should resist watercolor paint because it’s basically plastic (although you’d never know it). It does resist it, but not fully, which is why artists use gesso resist to create paintings. It brings a really interesting texture to the work. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my work. Let me know if you need help with anything, I bet I could point you to a resource or something that would help! Thanks again for taking a look, I really appreciate it.


        1. Hi Laura, Yes, I’m very new. When I first started painting, about 3 weeks ago, I treated it like regular paint meaning I used almost no water in an effort to control it. I was looking for a consistency in paint that I was familiar with when I painted in kindergarten. (yes, it’s been that long). But recently, I’m finding out that if I add more water that the water does what it wants to and it’s very beautiful. My latest paintings reflect this. My first few paintings, my fellow art students asked if it was even watercolor – they thought it was oil. So I’m giving up some control and letting it do its’ thing. I’ve heard everyone talk about gesso but I never knew what it did. So it adds texture – got it – thank you. I was taking drawing lessons but I stopped that – I just want to paint. I’m sick of drawing straight lines in pencil. 🙂 I’ve already written a book but I’ll be checking back often because you seem to really know your stuff and I need to learn me some stuff! 🙂 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Carol, I immersed myself completely in art almost two years ago as a way of dealing with anxiety and a very limited diet because my body won’t tolerate many of the foods I love. I needed a way to deal with it and I think God opened up this path for me. I’ve never had a class, but there are tons of library books and YouTube videos out there and the art community is really a welcoming and wonderful, helpful place too. Really glad you found me and you are in for lots of fun! I started painting with WC the same way you did, but it turns out you only need v little paint and some water and then you add water if you want a lighter color. That’s about it to get started! 🙂


  1. Oh Laura! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️. I love this!! Gesso is so fun to mid with watercolor and so nice to use white in acrylic. Love what you finally decided upon. Well worth the wait and fulfilled the anticipation !!! 😊

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    1. Thanks, Jodi! Zinc white is almost a sheer white, so it can push something more to the background or take away the intensity and you don’t even know it’s there because it’s not brash titanium (gesso-like) white. I just love it, learned about it from one of Chris Cozen’s videos. So glad you like this. I wasn’t sure it would have been posted if it weren’t something I said I would do daily. It was fun to make though. I have to admit, I’m enjoying working more with WC again now that I have stuff like zinc white in my back pocket. There’s lots of gesso on this, but the areas I glazed with zinc white……you don’t see white at all. I should post a before and after in the future so people can see what it can do. With WC I feel naked but zinc white helps me feel I can still cover things up a bit. lol. 🎨😎💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marvellous colours, lovely texture and a complexity which creates interest and intrigue. Couple this with the coherence of theme in the piece and you have one of your best paintings. You need to build on this. Well done Laura

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! This is one of your best paintings. I have handblown glass balls similar to the colors of your painting. I love to put them in a birdbath. They bob and float with the summer breeze, which is mesmerizing and relaxing to watch. Your painting captures what I see in my birdbath, minus the birds.

    Thank you for sharing your experimentations of mixed medium with watercolor. So interesting.


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  4. love the Design you created here Laura, its working beautifully to bring the eye in! great colors, and tones all… in great spots! love the Circles!! it is a beautiful Designed painting. ((LL))

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  5. This reminds me of the bubbles in the water, formed by the waves. Really like this one, Laura! 😃 Speaking of water, I took a couple of cool dips at the lake today. Water temp was low 60’s but it felt great! 🚣💦☀️

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary; I have heard so much encouraging feedback on this painting that I have decided I will take Graham’s advice and try and take it further, perhaps on a larger surface. I truly appreciate your time and your generous remarks. Have a super Fourth! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so glad I came across your site at The Dune Mouse. I retired last year and now can finally begin to do more art and a lot more writing. I have been dabbling in water color but am quite intrigued with your mixed media using acrylics and gesso. The above is simply beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Renee, you just made my day with your kind comment! I am so glad you’re enjoying my artwork. I really hope you enjoy my crazy art experiments; we have lots of fun here, and our WordPress art community is very active and friendly. We all inspire each other and have lots of fun. Thanks again for your kind visit and comment, and I look forward to seeing you around! ❤


    1. Emily, I’m so flattered! Thank you so much! I should tell you that this one is about 5 x 8″, roughly. I try to put the size and the surface in every post, but on this one I missed both – it is on 300 lb. Arches 100% cotton rag watercolor paper. After getting lots of great feedback on this one, I’m thinking about taking it to a larger piece of watercolor paper, or perhaps a canvas, and seeing what I can do with it. Not sure if you’re still interested in this small piece?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well this is just fantastic!

    I feel like I’m on the beach, standing by the seashore looking for seashells. As the frothy sea rolls over my toes, I stoop down to peer into the bubbles depths and am able to glimpse a brief look inside some distant world. The bubble pops and I am disappointed by the loss only to be captivated by the bubble that was hidden underneath.

    Are these places in the past, present, or future? Is this what time travel looks like?

    You are turning into quite the mad scientist I.M. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What you’ve achieved here is really impressive! I never would have thought you could get this look with watercolor. I’ve also never mixed watercolor and acrylic, so certainly need to do that soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re quite welcome, Sophia, and I’ll be really curious to see how you enjoy it! I had never tried gesso resist before, so this was really fun. These abstracts seem to take me on a journey and I never know where I’m going. Just love the Golden fluid acrylics once I found them, the colors are so strong and vibrant and they seem to glow from within. I never thought I’d enjoy working with acrylics, but once I tried them I just can’t resist them now. Really glad to have inspired you! Thanks again for taking the time to comment. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is gorgeous! I find the way you go about developing your abstract painting inspiring. Loving it. I’m happy I find this blog. There is so much to catch up with now though. One step at a time….

    Liked by 1 person

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