Thursday, January 9, 2020

Patio Friends

"Patio Friends"
Watercolor on 9" x 6.25" Arches cold press paper, 100% cotton 

With this painting I tried to slow down, observe more carefully before each stroke, and just paint shapes. In other words, forget that these are flowers in pots; rather, just paint shapes that vary in color and range from light to dark. In that sense, it feels like I made a breakthrough in my ability to see. 

I started with the leaves, then the pots, and then the flowers, before adding deeper shadows here and there—sort of like the paint-by-number kits I liked to use as a kid. Because I wanted to preserve the shapes I create, I waited for each layer of paint to dry, which is very opposite my usual tendency for spontaneous wet-on-wet painting.

The result is admittedly stilted—too controlled. Watercolor can be so magical when juicy washes are allow more free rein. I’m not sure I like the final result any more than this color study I made initially:

There has to be a happy medium. I hope I can find it. But I do appreciate the deeper level of seeing that I experienced with this painting. 

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