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2. Hilary Page's Guide to
      Watercolor Paints & Updates

. Color Right From
     The Start

4. Watercolor Right
     From the Start

 Articles: (list of 25+) 

 1. Visual Complements article

 2. Sparkling Interference Paints article

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Hilary Page
Hilary Page
12451 Queensbury Lane
Houston TX 77024-4138   USA

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Artist’s statement adapted from the end of “Watercolor Right from the Start”.

"Only paint what excites you. You are the boss! And don’t let anyone tell you what you should or should not paint. The more you paint the better your paintings will be; and the better your paintings become, the more you will want to paint, and the sooner your individuality will emerge in your paintings. So start painting now! Your life will be enriched and you will transmit this joy to all who cross your path! If you're painting you're free from worry. If you are painting you're happy!"


Roses and Love

I used a heart grid to emphazise the connection between roses and love.

I started the painting with a wet on wet wash- taking care to leave the center of the composition unpainted. This is so I can make the greatest contrast of light and dark paint where I plan the center of interest.

Once I had laid in the initial wash I drew the hearts. The rule of a grid painting is to change the value and color at each line.

Krenek's Gin
22" X 30"

 Going out location to local cotton gins near Houston Texas used to be an August and September ritual for me. The conditions would be awful- very hot, cotton flying everywhere and noisy- not to mention the smell of insecticides. But it was exciting. Now most of the small gins have been torn down because of development, Those left are totally mechanized and not nearly so interesting to paint. I'm glad I endured the conditions. My Cotton Gin series of painting brings back happy memories for me.

I finished this particular painting when back at my studio- using blue casein on the sky and the foreground shadows.

When the Krenek's sold this gin they commissioned me to do another painting for them. Now sold, the gin has fallen into disrepair. Maybe even torn down by now.



Hope Boat house Hope Boat House, Devon UK
15" X 22"

"Hope Boat" house was done in my car with the painting balanced on the steering wheel. The weather typical for an English summer was  cool, sunshine with intermittent showers. The dramatic perspective commands attention.

I worked on the contrast effects back home


I spent a morning painting on site in Conway, Wales while my husband was working nearby and my son and friend were sight seeing. The high perspective and the stark white building captivated me. I added the solitary figure as he tottered towards the water and included the metal railings to echo the shape of the figure. I re-did the painting back home and painted direct  to match the boldness of on site painting.

Sue Nude (Back)
22" X 30"

The afternoon I did this painting there was a cloudburst in Houston so only two of us from our lab group, the totally dedicated (or crazy) came to paint, meaning that we both had a very good positions regarding the model and the lighting. The beautiful violet color is Cobalt Violet PV49 made by Daniel Smith Inc.

See also Tammy and Martha.


Recumbent Nude
22" X 30"

At our Wednesday afternoon painting group where I completed this painting, the model poses for twenty minutes followed by a five minute break over a two and a half hour period. After sketching the model in pencil I laid in the paint wet on wet and then "negative painted" (painted around the figure) until the figure emerged. Finally I added the details. The key with painting the figure is to get a good drawing at the onset. And that only comes with practice, practice, practice!

Martha Recumbant

Jennie Jennie
15" X 16"

This rapidly executed painting of my daughter was done as a demonstration at one of my Portrait and Figure workshops. I applied a wet on wet wash over the pencil drawing and when this was dry I added the hard edged medium values and finally the darker details on the face. Overall it has loose, painterly quality.

22" X 15"

This mysterious house nestled in the green trees was our subject for a workshop I taught in Kent, England. There was a howling gale and driving rain much of the time, but participants gamely donned raincoats and held umbrellas and sat outside and sketched the scene though a few prefered to work from their cars! We completed the paintings back in the studio.

If you view this painting while squinting, you can see that it is constructed with two interlocking shapes- lighter on the outside and darker on the inside. Strong paintings are comprised of a few, simple underlying abstract shapes.

I completed this painting using just three paints: Winsor Lemon PY175, Quinacridone Magenta PR122 and Winsor Blue RS PB15.1


Hibiscus Morning
The brilliant red drew me to paint this beautiful flower. Each morning I would set my potted Hibiscus in the window to catch the Texas sunlight and then paint direct from light to dark, allowing each wash to dry before applying the next. I had time for one bloom a day before the light changed. I unified the painting by adding the darker leaves and the suggestion of a window- shape.

Floral Bouquet
22" X 15"

This amarylis was flowering, bold as brass, in my front yard. So I sat there and painted it. Then I noticed my neighbor's flag fluttering behind the tree. So I included it as a grid behing the tree. I used pearlescent interference paint on the bark ot the tree to increase the shimmer, flutering effect. Back in the house I negative painted green amarylises in the background to give an unusual effect.

Amarylis and Flag

From Sea to Shining Sea
 22" X 30"

Creating space on a flat piece of paper is an amazing leap of the imagination. In the tradition of my "Abstract Mountain" series, here both the Atlantic ocean and the Pacific are but straight lines and within their bounds are the mountains, plains and valleys. The positive American "can do" outlook has served me very well so this painting is a tribute to the USA.

From Sea to Shining Sea

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