Tequila Sunrise Mandala

9x12" gouache on watercolor paper, artwork by Tammy Garcia.

9x12" gouache on watercolor paper, artwork by Tammy Garcia.

My idea at the outset was a large, fairly open mandala with crisp white lines and the colors of a tequila sunrise. So a mash-up of one of my favorite Eagles songs with the colors of the an actual tequila sunrise! A perfect job for masking fluid! It’s very useful for leaving part of a page white or getting super crisp lines. I don’t use it very often because it’s kind of fiddly.

Using a small brush, I painted the mandala using Winsor & Newton removable masking fluid {aka frisket} [also try Schmincke frisket]. This blocks or masks the paper from your watercolor or gouache paint. How I love playing with negative space! I let the frisket dry then painted with gouache + ink. After all of that gouache it was difficult to see the frisket. With watercolor it is much easier to see what's been masked. It always looks like pure chaos while in process so sort of visualize that there really are stark lines under there somewhere!

The big reveal is the BEST part. The glaring Texas sun streaming through the window helped me actually SEE what I was doing. After letting the page dry, peeled off the frisket [works best if you use an eraser] and voilà.

I know that I cannot possibly explore every single idea on every single page. It's very freeing to let that go, to allow myself to just pick one or two ideas and get started. A simple idea has so much potential. You can always build complexity as you go.