Watercolorist Leslie Frontz is featured in the December 2011 issue of Watercolor Artist magazine. Although she works transparently, she don’t hesitate to use sedimentary pigments, like ultramarine blue or the more opaque cadmiums, for the sake of texture. She adapts her palette to her location, choosing pigments that complement and reflect the region and scene she has chosen to paint. Her primary palette is a limited one consisting of Winsor & Newton cadmium yellow, cadmium lemon, Indian red, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, phthalo blue (green shade), ultramarine blue, raw sienna, and burnt umber. To these she adds “rogue colors,” such as Winsor & Newton permanent rose, cobalt turquoise, and phthalo green to bring out the special or unique atmospheric qualities of her subject. Small highlights are later added with Winsor & Newton permanent white gouache, although Frontz takes care to paint around larger areas of untouched paper instead of using a masking agent. Round Winsor & Newton sable brushes (Nos. 5, 7, 10 and 12) or Isabey squirrel mops (Nos. 2, 6 and 10) are her brushes of choice, although a 30-year-old 1-inch flat ox hair brush is her favorite for large, flat washes. Frontz prefers 200-lb. cold-pressed Saunders Waterford watercolor paper, but she will also use the same paper in the 140-lb. weight. She finds that this particular line performs consistently wet or dry and allows dark passages to remain full of life.
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