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 beverage. And that called for masking fluid, something I don't use very often! 

The process?

First I painted the mandala with a small brush and Winsor & Newton removable masking fluid {aka frisket}, which blocks areas of the paper from your watercolor or gouache paint. See? Playing with negative space again. I let the frisket dry for a few hours then painted with gouache and a little 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 looks like pure chaos, I think, the work-in-process. But I knew that those stark lines were underneath ready to peek out. 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 for several hours, I peeled off the frisket 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.