"Oh, bother." as Winnie the Pooh would say. I read Jean Grastorf's book again, and armed with good information and a bewildered brain, set to work.
So here's the first step. The sketch was done on 140 lb. Canson watercolor paper, and the whites were preserved with masking fluid. For my primary colors, I used Holbein's Aureolin, Cad Red Deep, and Ultramarine Light.
This is what it looked like after the first pour. Then it's a matter of finding the areas that are the correct value, masking them off, and pouring again. Repeat until the darkest values are achieved. It's a lot of steps, and a lot of time waiting for paint and masking fluid to dry. Patience is a necessary virtue for this process, and sadly, it's something that I have in short supply.
Several masks and pours later, this was the result. Now it's time to remove the masking fluid, and see the results.
Except the masking fluid wouldn't come off. It stuck to the paper like roofing tar. I could move the gooey layer a little bit, but not remove it.
You can see my removal attempts at the top of this photo. The striations are masking fluid after being vigorously rubbed with a mask remover.
What the $%#@*! went wrong?! Was the masking fluid old?! Did I need to stir it?! Was it the wrong paper, somehow?! I didn't stretch the paper. Should I have stretched the paper?! Did it make a difference?! Maybe the paint wasn't dry enough when I put the mask on?! Maybe I really don't understand this pouring stuff!! To quote Nancy Kerrigan: "WHY?! WHY?!"
Then to my horror I realized what I had done. Remember the part about patience, and how I lack it? Well, after I applied a paint layer, to speed things up, I was using a hair dryer to dry it faster.
The dryer was set on low heat.
I had baked the masking fluid into a tarry layer of unremovable goo.
Now right about this time, I know you watercolor artists are out there shaking your heads and facepalming. Please be kind. Beginners mistake, and all that. And a lesson learned.
Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug. Some works are successes, some, like this one, are dismal failures. But it's only a failure in the fact that the painting itself didn't turn out quite the way I wanted it to. What's not part of the failure is trying a new artistic method and all the lessons learned therein. That part is a success. No worries, although I was really looking forward to the 'reveal' when the masking fluid was removed. I'll try this one again someday, and you can bet I won't be using a hair dryer next time.
And even though it didn't work, I say it still counts as part of the 100!