Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Was the Sky That Blue?

"Blue Sky," 9" x 12" watercolor on Arches 100% cotton rough w/c paper

Yep, everything got out of control from the very start. I painted the sky first (cobalt blue plus a little phthalo blue plus a little French ultramarine), which lead to deeper shadows on the flower than necessary, which lead to another coat for the sky, and before I knew it, the sky had run away with the painting. 

I guess it just wanted to be the main character this time. 

Fair enough. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

And Again


Alameda Bird of Paradise Revisited, 9" x 9" watercolor on Arches 100% cold press paper 

I think I like this better than the last version. Time will tell. Two weeks of this taped to my office/studio wall, next to the last version, will let me know. 

It takes every fiber of my being to slow down and paint this way--letting washes of paint dry to a sheen before adding more paint, letting some areas dry completely before glazing new layers of paint, trying to give a 3-D effect to a 2-D medium, trying to make it look "real." 

And yet again, this would win no contests in the California Watercolor Association. Plus I'm not really sure I even want to be a realist painter. And I don't necessarily want to just be a painter of pretty pictures. 

For some reason, though, it seems important to go through this phase. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Learning from Failure

Alameda Bird of Paradise, 8.5" x 11" watercolor on Arches Cold Pressed w/c paper

Over the weekend I painted two paintings that were abysmal failures by anyone’s standard.

I do hate it when that happens, but I am learning that failures do sometimes contribute to better paintings down the line.

This one would certainly not win a contest with the California Watercolor Association. By their standards I made a lot of bad decisions here that add up to a fairly unremarkable painting.

Yet I also feel it shows some progress because of my weekend failures, which reminded me to wait sometimes for wet areas to dry to a sheen before introducing other colors.

Two steps forward and sometimes three back, but it’s all part of the LC (Learning Curve).

As a side note, my five-month-old grandson “helped” with this one. That is, he sat on my lap while I painted. Everything was out of his reach, but he didn’t object—just watched attentively. Thank you, little A.


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