I saw some climbing roses against a bright white wall, dancing with the wind. The play of light and dark, flickering shadows, and the swaying of the roses in the wind – tried to catch it in this morning’s sketch. No lines, direct watercolor.
This morning I thought I would do another “one morning wonder” (like, I wonder why I did it, why! it looks wonderful!), but as I laid down the first washes I realized that I needed to paint the foliage with negative painting. Bingo! The lesson of the other day came to the forefront of my brain. Let’s see how it progresses. Here is the first scan.
After “getting” negative space yesterday, I decided to make a complicated drawing and “work” at negative space. I have orange lilies blooming in pots on the patio every year, and they are brilliantly orange with piles of leaves in all directions. What better source of light and dark, overlaps, medium shades? And in the afternoon sun. So, here you go.
Today I experienced a breakthrough in my painting. I intellectually understand negative painting, but today I physically understood negative painting. I just some how “got it” and this painting began to shift in its creation. Our bodies and our minds are so connected, but in this world of a separation of physical health from mental health, the connection is oftentimes lost. Personally, I do have a bit of problem connecting the right brain and the left brain from a long ago head injury, so when that connection occurs, it is really a very physical awareness. I’ve had that when studying math. Today I had it while studying lights and darks.
I always have loved vistas of wildflowers, and the red poppies seen in so many French paintings always seem wonderful to me. Red like that is hard to find (I think) in the natural world. Painting it is even harder. I ended up using mostly Cadmium Red Orange.
This is another direct watercolor from this morning, but because of the multiple layers of washes, I had to let it dry in between. I went about getting ready for work between layers. At first, I just did a sky and put in colors of grasses and poppies – but they all bled together, so the second attempt – the one above – is the final version. If you look at the pictures below – click on them to see them in sequence – you can see what I did. I scanned each wash layer before doing the next.
Another focus on direct watercolor – no lines, no pencil. Here, my main focus was to draw straight lines with a brush, as well as consider how not to get everything bleeding into each section. I tried to do one area at a time – say, one building part – and then move on to one adjacent to it, working carefully to make each area separate but connected. Sounds like a lot of hooey when I read it, but that’s best description I can give right now! I’m running late to work.
This has been a busy weekend! A lot of painting – certainly beats housework, I tell ya.
Here is another study from Rick Surowicz’s YouTube channel. This is the “Inn at Brandywine” study. Again, use of masking fluid, glazes, warm and cool greens. If you like to paint and want to get better, you cannot go wrong with his videos. They are detailed and informative – info on brushes, colors, techniques, thoughts on what he is doing. All very helpful and insightful.
Using the masking fluid is becoming easier, as is thinking ahead. Like painting in negative space, planning ahead is a different way of looking at a painting for me. It’s hard to explain. The thing is, while kind of frustrating to do, it is becoming more of a part of painting, if that makes any sense.
Below, Rick’s excellent video.
Once more, Rick Surowicz has produced a video for study, and I did it. This time it was more successful than the one on negative painting, probably because I used better paper and was not too fussed about things. I had been to a workshop earlier in the day, and though I didn’t produce anything noteworthy in the workshop, I was warmed up and ready to go!
I watched it three times! First to just see it, second to take notes, third time to follow along. The biggest point to it, for me, was the cool greens used in the beginning were nicely complemented by the warm green glazes at the end. I used a 300# paper, which is the first time I have ever used a paper that weight. I was pleased with the end result.
The color differences are notable. Surowicz used colors I don’t have, such as royal blue and peacock blue. I’m not sure what the colors in my palette were as my color reference wheel is packed up some place. I do know that I used cobalt teal in place of turquoise and a lot of Hooker’s Green, while he stuck with sap green, which is more yellow, and a lovely color. I also mixed some greens differently, such as using cobalt teal and quinacridone gold. The colors, while important, were not the main focus – the focus was to follow the steps and get an idea what to do! The photo Surowicz used is for compositional suggestions only – the execution is very individual.