I am a member of the SAA and would like some advice about working in watercolour using gum arabic. I have seen references to it in several books I have read and am keen to improve my wet-on-wet knowledge. It is my understanding that by 'adding' some gum arabic, I can slow down the drying process, but how do I apply it, how much do I use and is there a downside. I should be very grateful for your advice. Many thanks Richard Lloyd
Gum Arabic is used mixed with with watercolours to slow the movement of colour & stop it diffusing, allowing blurred shapes to sit alongside each other without blending too much. The gum will give a sheen so use sparingly as the sheen will not disappear when dry. With regards to how much to use, again I’m not sure I would recommend buying some and experimenting with it. It depends how glossy and how transparent he wants the solution. Joe Francis Dowden touches on this subject in January 2006 Paint on figure 11 of his demonstration.