Thursday, September 21, 2023

Okay, I give up...for now

Crown Memorial Beach Bathhouse4
10" x 14" watercolor
100% cotton Arches hot press paper

Dang it, anyway. I've tried three times to create a stand-alone painting of the Crown Memorial Beach bathhouse...hoping each time I might hit the flow I had with the sketchbook painting that I posted last week after watching that Richard Thorn video about creating a strong pencil drawing foundation that allows for a looser approach with the paint.  

But it just won't happen. Here are two versions; see what I mean? The top version comes closest, but it still doesn't have that free flowing look of the sketchbook version. The bottom version is just--well, stiff (though it does look better in person than on this screen). I won't even post the third version.

An artist I admire says she never tries to paint a duplicate of a painting she likes because it never comes out as well. Yet other artists say they recreate paintings all the time. 

I'm giving up on this one for now. But it's just such an iconic image of my daily walks along the Robert Crown Memorial State Beach. I'd sure like to nail it someday for a stand alone painting that I can be proud to frame. 

Crown Memorial Beach Bathhouse3
10" x 12" watercolor
100% cotton Arches hot press paper

Friday, September 15, 2023

It May Not Look Like Much, But...

Crown Memorial Beach Bathhouse
8 x 16" watercolor
in Hand Book Journal

Funny how the muse circles back now and then and reminds us of something important. 

I'd forgotten all about Richard Thorn's video demo that I watched almost three years ago. At the time, I thought it might be a game-changer to use his technique of a very strong pencil drawing (as opposed to the light lines that many artists use) for the framework of a loose watercolor painting. I was all excited about a painting I did using that technique

And then I forgot all about the technique. Until this week. 

This painting in my sketchbook may not look like much, but it helped me re-see the magic of laying down a strong pencil drawing and then using a freer, looser approach to the painting. My heart sang as I painted this, and it sings again every time I look at the painting. (You'll just have to trust me that this one looks better in person than on the screen.)

Since this one I've done two stand-alone paintings that I don't like as well. But that's to be expected. This time, I won't forget about this technique. 

Thank you, Richard Thorn. 


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Zion National Park

Spring in Zion National Park
8" x 10" watercolor
Arches 100% cotton cold press paper

Had to dig in my archives for a photo reference for this one. I snapped the photo in the spring of 2022--our first trip to Zion National Park. I hope it wasn't our last. I see that Utah watercolor artist Carl Purcell, a favorite online w/c instructor, teaches workshops at Zion each year. Hmmm...something to consider. 

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