Thursday, January 21, 2016

EXPERIMENTING ... It's a Good Thing

This photo of my neighbor's sunflowers was my inspiration - taken several weeks ago, during a cold snap.  

My drawing

First washes. I wet the entire sheet [15 x 22 inches] and stroked on some quin. burnt orange.

I did some detail work on the old flower and leaves, using quin. gold, the orange and indanthrone blue for muted greens.

I masked the flower, wet  the paper all over again,  and stroked in some green, mixed from gold, orange and blue.

I added more detail and shadowing using orange, quin. violet and blue. The techniques were a combination of wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry [softening the strokes].

With the masking off

I felt there was not enough strength/support for the sunflower. So I wet the left side and stroked in some of the dark brown mixture.

This was the experiment. I saw the painting as lacking integration, no sense of wholeness. So I wondered .... ??? Could I get away with wetting the entire thing and not loose what had been so far painted?
YES!!! After letting it dry overnight, I wet it all, and applied gold, orange and brown in a circle shapes with the center around the flower. I then sprayed a bit to encourage the colors to move and blend. I am very pleased with the result! If you plan to try this technique, I encourage you to read Nita Engle's book, How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself. I could get away with this because I had used staining colors; anything else would turn to mud. 

This was the same stage as the above painting, but taken on "auto" mode. The previous one was with AV mode.  I find it works better in winter under an artificial light.

And this is the next project.

For a while now, I have been wanting to push my paintings further, using shapes, values, colors, design to convey some emotion. One way I plan to do this is to religiously prepare several value sketches to work out kinks before painting. And I want to be able to skillfully use more of the lost-and-found techniques for edges.

Hmmm ... I guess that's it for today. Thank you very much for dropping by!