Tuesday, November 16, 2021

It's Good to Stretch Ourselves

Little Cabin in the Woods
8 x 10" watercolor on Arches 100% cotton cold press 

A friend asked me to paint from a photo he's taken of his family's lake home. I agreed, but then I put the "assignment" off for several months because I was afraid of it. Mostly afraid of those trees. I worried about how to paint them without going into too much detail, or "telling too much of the story," as watercolorists like to say. 

The friend politely nudged me a few weeks ago and reminded me he wanted to give the painting to his son for a Christmas gift. So I put my big-girl painter pants on and went for broke, trying to channel Andy Evansen, whose trees are just so darned delightful. 

First I created a draft painting (see below), or a color study, with the main goals to a) figure out what colors to use and b) figure out how to portray the trees in a loose, semi-abstract fashion. With this study I didn't even try to nail the correct perspective on the house. I wasn't worried about my ability to do that.  

Darned if I didn't really, really like the trees on that first draft -- so much so that if I had drawn the house in correct perspective, I'd have been able to call the painting done. 

See what I mean? I just love love love those trees! But of course the house--not so much. It was just a place-holder for color.

So I made myself go on to the second painting (very top), hoping to employ the learning I'd experienced with the first painting. And I have to say--I'm kinda pleased. 

 You know, there's hardly anything better than a little bit of an art-high. 

Thank you, friend, for asking me to stretch myself. 


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