Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Thank you, Andy Evansen


"Cows: Imitation of an Andy Evansen Painting," 7x 11" watercolor on Arches 100% cotton cold press paper

I caught a glimpse of the mystery earlier this month while taking an online watercolor painting class from Minnesota artist Andy Evansen. What a great teacher.

His approach is to do a value study with paint and establish the middle values. Then move to color and establish that middle value with a graded wash that allows edges to blend when shifting from one color to another. This middle-value wash is connected and that is what unifies the painting, Andy said. 

After this middle-value is established, you return to your value study and add the darks, then follow your "map" of darks on your actual painting. Finally, you put a few finishing details here and there (sparingly!) and viola, you have a painting.

He makes it look so easy. 

I love the philosophical appeal of everything being connected. And I experienced it with this painting! I can't take credit for the composition or the method I used; I faithfully followed Andy's demo and basically tried to recreate his painting. But at least I caught a glimpse of the mystery for a couple of hours. 

Since then I have created several failed paintings. The glimpse of the mystery doesn't usually last long, I've learned. At least not when you're on a long, slow learning curve like I am. But I did experience that glimpse. That's something. 

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