Indigo Watercolour: Contrasts and Textures

Watercolour Landscape Indigo and Indan Village paper

More contrast, more texture, more visual interest? They were the objectives I set out to accomplish! Using Indigo, Rough Indian Village paper, torn deckled edges, unframed “viewer touchable”  artwork …… I experimented using some creative techniques with this watercolour landscape.

Watercolour Landscape Indigo and Indan Village paper
Mountain Landscape – Indian Village watercolour paper with Indigo and Indanthrone paints

The paper I chose was a full sheet 22x 30 inch Indian Village 100% cotton rag with thick textured rough surface that would entice viewers to touch and feel the image.


For Dark Contrast choose Indigo with PB60

For a deep dark contrast, I used Daniel Smith Indigo plus Indanthrone to create a rich blue black.  Other indigo paints,  imo,  fail. They are flat because they are not made from PB60.  PB60 (Indanthrone a brilliant Stainer) is the key to a fabulous Indigo!


For the Landscape mountains I used French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna with a drop of Indigo, wet in wet dripping down in soft edges. The paper’s borders were left quite white for maximum contrast against the deep dark Indigo of the Indian Village paper.

I then carefully deckled the edges, tearing along the four sides.  Again, to help provide an increased sense of texture and depth.


Once this was dry, I adhered it to a piece of foam about 1 inch thick and glued it to the Indigo Indian Village paper.  I placed it higher  on the Indian Village paper to help create a sense of looking upwards at the mountains.

At this point I adhered the Indian Village paper to a large off white mount board with pieces of thick foam of about 1.5 inches thick, for an upraised sculptural effect.


For more Texture,  deckle and tear paper edges and raise up the image off the mount.

Both parts of this entire painting  were raised up.  The mountain scene is set up off the  Indian Village paper  and the Indian Village paper itself  is raised up off the white mount board.

The entire method of Presentation was planned to maximise the paper’s texture, the paper’s  Edges.


This gives an overall sculptural quality not usual to watercolours.  It  also provided the viewer  a visual stimuli to touch and feel the art work, which I specifically designed the artwork for.


I wanted  a  ‘hands on’   viewer participation.   Probably because, so many times I see art works at galleries that are so gorgeous, so rich and layered and Textural I feel compelled to touch them….. but am not allowed!

I am not worried or anxious about displaying my work like this. I use  acid free artist quality paper 100% cotton and Lightfast paints.  I just don’t hang them outdoors, or in the kitchen, thats all!

Good materials are usually pretty robust. Student grade materials need special care and aren’t anywhere near reliable enough to pull off this type of use.

Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

15 thoughts on “Indigo Watercolour: Contrasts and Textures

  1. Really interesting post. I know what you mean about wanting to touch museum paintings. I love the idea that you are inviting the viewer into a tactile world. Wish I could see this in person! Lovely work. ~Rita

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Rita, thanks!! Sometimes its hard Not to touch them.
      When I view your paintings, it really makes me want to trot over & go walk your woods & paint with you – Thats a rare gift you have!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the torn edges and used them all the time in my journal. Love the colors in this piece, the dark moody background to the light of the mountains with the orange and blue highlights; sensational!

    Liked by 2 people

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