Friday, February 12, 2010
Discovering what I like about watercolor
At top are the guitar players that I have been working on / avoiding for so long. I have had a lot of questions for myself on this painting. Why do I want to paint it? Why is it taking me so long? Why can't I do it? Why am I having so much trouble with it? What do I do next? Normally when I paint flowers, landscapes, structures, it is a fun and short process. I don't always get a painting that sings to me, but, I never have the kind of trouble I am having on this painting. The reason why I first wanted to paint this is because I saw the photo and really liked the expressions and the body language of the band players. They are in an elevator, so the photo isn't a perfect photo, in my opinion. I truly believe that some photos are meant to be photos only and not painted. I am having trouble with this painting because I know one of the guitar players. I have been told it is much more difficult to paint someone you know vs. someone that you don't. So I have worked all around the painting avoiding the person's face that I know. Thanks to an artist friend, she encouraged me to go in with a dark background. I promise the day I did the background, it was really dark, although now it seems a midtone. I will go back with more washes. So now, I have time invested in this painting and I don't want to mess it up by ruining the faces. So I am avoiding them. Chicken!
What I have at least learned is that the way I like to experience watercolor is wet and loose. I find that painting on large paper allows for me to go wet into wet with colors side by side blending into each other to make a new color. I like clear, vibrant colors and I love high contrast - white as the white of the paper next to very dark.
I may not have achieved that in this painting, but, I have several ideas dancing in my hand where I can experience watercolor in this way. The subject matter is flowers, something that I am comfortable painting and that I love to paint because of the curves, turns and interesting shadows. But, I want to learn how to apply this technique to subject matters that I want to paint. My Friday painting group is not meeting right now and I am not taking any class or workshops so I feel as if I am in a rut, unless I paint, paint, paint and learn by trial and error. Also, I have been spending a lot of time looking at other artist's blogs. I have recently found several watercolor artists that I am so inspired by. Feel free to check out the artists that I follow on blogger.
On a happy note, everyone, look at our beautiful snow. We are actually snowed in today. This is so unusual for Dallas. I know in other parts of the country this would be nothing, but, for us this is a fabulous winter wonderland. If you go outside you hear this amazing sound of the snow melting and dropping from the trees. It is a peaceful whishing sound.
Thanks for visiting!