Masses of color to create suggestions of shapes? Check.
I am pleased with this painting – there are areas which could be better, but is any painting actually “perfect”? Certainly not in watercolor!
Lilacs are one of my favorite spring flowers. Their fragrance is heavenly and a welcome sight as winter fades away. Sadly, it seems hybridizing them for a coastal SoCal climate is not successful.
I drew the flower masses in pencil, creating general shapes. A few pointy leaf shapes. A glass vase. Dropped petals. From there, the rest happened with lighter washes of color, white areas left behind, and eventual deepening shades of lavender, purple, and pink. Some blue, too. It sort of happened all over rather than section by section.
And then my next painting was a complete disaster!!
Another adventure in negative painting. As I have mentioned earlier, trees are a very good way to practice negative painting.
Here, I painted around the white trunks, and then more tinted trunks. I couldn’t find myself getting rigidly graphic with this, and just did a splish-splash approach. I also think I did a fairly decent job of moving from a dark, shady forest floor to a more sunlit canopy.
In the end, I used some white gouache, too, and rather like the vibrational energy of it all.
Another floral study following a YouTube video. This one is by Lois Davidson, whose technique is much different than the “Bowl of Roses” video.
I rather liked this one. There were some little things in doing it that I hadn’t done before. I’ve sprinkled colors onto wet paint, but never dropped in sprinklings of water. That was fun. Also, the sheer joy in painting splotchy flowers is always a delight but I did have to think a lot more than it looks – working light to dark requires forethought and patience. To me, watercolor painting is like haiku – it takes a lot more work than it appears to need!
First, I removed the liquid frisket. From there I added more color to increase contrast, again using the wide 1.5 inch flat brush. While the paint was still wet, I sprinkled on some kosher salt. After letting it dry, I again added more color, salt, and then spritzed it with rubbing alcohol. This morning I shook off the salt and now am contemplating what to do next. The first step, though, will be to add more frisket to help preserve the existing whites as well as some of the areas of color.
Such a crap shoot at times!!
Below you can compare the first image to the next.
As I mentioned in my last post, I am trying to change my de facto style into something a bit lighter in color, less intense, and more abstract. This round I am working in layers with an idea in mind. The idea is the spring thaw – frozen water broken up (perhaps), or a stream suddenly overwhelmed by waters pouring down from mountains, as spring warms and melts snow in the higher elevations
I used a liquid frisket with a bamboo pen, drawing with the resist, smearing it around, and finally using a brush dipped in detergent to create different shapes. From there I painted using a 1.5″ flat brush to place colors where things could be. Above is the result with the frisket removed.
I have been trying to work with thin washes to lay in color, moving into negative painting – such as around the birch trees – and building the painting from there. I used different color mixtures to suggest the birch’s black areas on the trunk, and then used the darkest color I could mix to create some outlines for the trunks.
Watercolor is such an unpredictable, but somewhat predictable, medium that it can drive you crazy and fill you with delight.
I’ve been doing a bit of reading . . . the gist of which is work light to dark, then general to detailed, and the last is more important than the first. It is from Tom Hoffman’s excellent book on watercolor, should you wish to know.
Anyhoooo, following this advice, I made a foray into a rather abstract painting. The corner of my house has two windows, set perpendicular to one another, and are furnished with plantation shutters – wooden shutters with wide slats. This is from a photo I took. I tried to catch the graphic lines of the shutters in contrast to the curves of the fig tree and its autumnal leaves outside, next to the sidewalk and street.