Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blog Party - Inspiration Avenue - Tip Using Gauze

Using Gauze in Watercolors

Gauze can make an interesting texture when added to a watercolor painting.

There are two kinds of cotton gauze: non-elastic surgical gauze and elastic surgical gauze. The non-elastic surgical gauze stretches out more and takes the watercolor better. It is hard to find the non-elastic stuff. You need to look closely at the package.

Put your design on the paper. I used masking fluid to save my whites. I find a simple design works best. The paper is arches 140 cold pressed, 5 x 7 taped on a gaterboard.

Cut the gauze to fit where you want the texture on your paper. Unfold the gauze so it is one thin layer. You can stretch and manipulate the gauze.

Wet the area with clear water thoroughly where you want the texture to be. Lay the gauze down on top of the wet paper. Wet the gauze to hold it in place. Note I got excited about adding the color before I snapped a picture. The blue is watercolor.

Fill a large brush with enough pigment to saturate the area and drop the color in. Having the area already with water allows the pigment to disperse more freely.

Wait for the gauze and paper to completely dry. Don't be temped to lift the gauze to peek until it is completly dry. Letting it dry overnight is best. Don't peek. Note: I used a hairdryer to speed the process this afternoon and it seemed to workout okay.

Remove the gauze and masking fluid. The final step is to fill in the details.

I have tried this process a few time. It seems to work better each time. Have fun experimenting.


  1. I love how the gauze looks in the background. Love those colors. Thanks for joining the party!

  2. I love this technique, thank you for showing us how to do it. I am definitely going to try this one.

  3. This is a great technique and looks lovely! I sometimes use something similar for my acrylic paintings, never tried it with watercolours though. I wonder if I'd have the patience not to peek before it was dry lol! Thanks for coming to our party and for sharing!

  4. Thanks for your great idea. I usually use cheesecloth in my collages but I'll bet the gauze is cheaper. Your watercolor is lovely.

  5. What a wonderful technique! Just the thought of waiting to see how it comes out would be so fun, thanks for sharing.

  6. Thank you for the wonderful comments. I have really enjoyed the blog party. I just want to play and not work ....

  7. How beautiful ... who would have thought that using gauze would create such a lovely affect ... just lovely!

    Thank you for sharing the technique with us!

  8. Great technique! Love your paintings!

  9. Another great technique to try! This looks like fun and yours turned out beautifully! I will try this for sure.

  10. What a fabulous tutorial. What a pretty background it provides. Thank you.

  11. What a great idea- you painting turned out so interesting! Patsy from


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