Thursday, September 3, 2009

the beginnings of watercolor

With the first set of 10, I found it most challenging to let loose and let the paint do its thing. All of my paintings are relatively tight, and when I actually did let the paint go, it seemed to be out of place. I chose this painting to post because I enjoyed experimenting with the detailed glass and the citrus fruit textures... I think it turned out pretty well. I wish I would have had more fun with non-local colors, I'm not happy with the table, but I am pleased with how I didn't have to get too tight to get a convincing texture, I just had to deal with lights and darks properly.

Dealing with a model in watercolor without any undersketch was particularly challenging, due to the fact that figure drawings don't allow for a lot of mistakes in proportion. There are a couple of wonky areas, including the model's right arm, but the challenge was good for improving time (as the model was somewhat impatient) and figuring out how to address shadows and wrinkles. I also experimented with simplifying the background with a more detailed subject. Next time I paint a figure with watercolor, I will try to simplify the subjec
t and focus more on areas of light and dark as opposed to outlines.

Landscapes were good for me, because they made me loosen up a little. I hate landscapes, but it really wasn't too painful. I started out taking 30 or 40 minutes for each painting, and eventually forced myself to get down to 10. I much prefer the ones that took 10 minutes. The compositions are better, the strokes are more confident, and I was more willing to let the paint have fun and leave it alone. I liked this painting because I was able to convey detail without going in with a tiny brush and making it myself. Also, the background is nice and soft, but the tree has jagged lines and angular edges. I think this painting also had a wider range of values than most of my others.

This was the quickest and easiest painting I have done so far, and it turned out very well. The background is very simplified, but it reads better than many of my more detailed backgrounds. The reflections in the water were fun to create, and I was able to get multiple hues going in my trees without creating a big muddy green/brown mess. I also didn't stress about making the horizon completely clear, which turned out to be a good decision. I only wish I didn't have the blur in the reflection toward the middle of the composition.

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