Phil Metger’s chapter on detail and edges compares a photograph, with different focusing levels, to a painting. By this he demonstrates the area of interest – foreground, middle ground, or background. In general, the foreground or middle ground will contain the area of interest. Therefore, the edges and details will be greater in these areas.
In this painting, the focal point is the lower right corner, where the rocks meet the small waterfall of the stream. The two rocks carry the greatest amount of detail, and as we move away from them, details gradually become less and less. In the background, the right side is a bit more dominant than the left background because the rocks and tree trunks are a bit darker than those on the left. (What logical lighting reason exists for that, I have no idea!) I tried to simplify everything the further I got from the lower right rocks and the center foreground water. Additionally, I limited my palette and tried to tie together all “grounds” of the painting by using the same colors to some extent throughout the painting.
This is my first attempt at water in a stream. I’m rather pleased with it overall. Not a masterpiece, for sure, but I am getting where I want to be more each time I paint.
I refilled a pen with some Private Reserve Copper ink, a water soluble ink, to see how it works as a sketching ink. The pen is an Aurora with a medium nib, one which I like to use when I need a broader line. For some reason, maybe it’s just me, but the pen is not writing quite like it did with a different ink. (Hey, maybe it’s the ink!) The idea is to see how well the ink blends into the watercolors or affects the colors themselves.
From what I can see, it just merges into the paint without polluting the clarity of the colors. If you look at the trees on the left, you will see a lot of lines representing the directional flow of the bark. In other areas, I used the pen to outline white spots or fallen leaves. In the background, you can see the outlines of the tree trunks.
Besides just playing with ink, I am trying to use simpler swaths of color in my painting to convey a sense of depth. I struggle with depth – and maybe it is because I don’t have any depth perception – and too often I think my paintings are rather flat in appearance. Luckily, there are “rules” out there to help me, such a lighter colors in the distance, which I do see. I just don’t have a sense of dimension.
I wonder how many people really do have eyesight problems – just recently I read that Da Vinci may have eye issues, having one eye which turned outward. Degas, too. Others? Interesting thought.