Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Stuck in Realistic Representation. Why?

Big Sur Revisited
8" x 10" watercolor
100% cotton Arches cold press paper

So I tried to apply the learning I wrote about last time in Shari Blaukoph's class to this painting of the Big Sur coastline. I used a reference photo I'd taken a while ago. This isn't my first painting from the photo; I've posted a couple of others here. I had also posted the quick painting I did in my sketchbook that you see at the bottom of this post.

With this most recent painting above, I did learn some things:

--If you're out of raw sienna, quin gold can work, but it's a little brassy so you have to tone it down with the other primaries.

--Don't be too enthusiastic with the final calligraphic touches of dark lines. I went overboard with a lot of parallel marks on the rocks, and since there's phthalo blue in those marks, I can't lift them out. I can certainly darken more areas to cover those marks, and I probably will, but I hope I don't darken too many areas. Since the sky and water in the background are dark, I don't want to many darks in the foreground, too.

I have to say, I still like the painting below best that I did a while ago from the same reference photo; I painted it very quickly and intuitively in a sketchbook, without really thinking too much about what I was doing. 

And ultimately I do not think I want to try to paint as realistically as the top painting. Shari Blaukoph's paintings are not super realistic, and that's why I like her style. But for some reason of late, I'm leaning more and more toward realistic representation. I think it's just a phase. I want it to just be a phase. But I think I'm stuck in this mode because I'm trying to learn something. What, I'm not exactly sure.


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