On the Forest Floor

Yesterday’s painting is now revisited, this time without lines, as well as with a few stages of the painting shown before the final rendition.

Working with white space is my biggest challenge, so I decided to lay in colors as a first step, as you can see above.  The idea here was to work around the white flowers and do what I could to keep them white.

At this point, colors and values are generally in place, but the white flowers have yet to be touched.  This is where the painting caused some questions.  Should this be more “painterly” – that is, splashy colors – or should it become more “formal” – meaning a more graphic rendition.  Because I am more inclined toward the “painterly” I went ahead and worked wet in wet, and in my mind’s eye, more messily.  Splash!  Splash!

Here is the final version.  I used pale colors to give the white flowers some dimension, but am not sure how successful they are.  I have a few ideas of maybe a third rendition, but that is for tomorrow if I do it.  At this point, I tried to introduce better contrast and detail in various areas, as well as working in some oranges, reds, yellows, and light greens throughout the painting to unite parts of it throughout.

In general, I am fairly pleased with this painting.  As with (I swear) every watercolor, it has its own ideas, so of course what I wanted to produce and what I did produce are rather different!  I didn’t create mud, and though I wanted to reach for the pen to make outlines and sharpen areas, I didn’t.  I did consider watercolor pencil, but in the end decided to leave it as it was.

The biggest problem is that the white flowers themselves need more contrast, but today, I am not too sure how to get them to look more 3-dimensional.

Below, you can view a slide show of yesterday’s ink and watercolor version, as well as the evolution of today’s exercise.

Dreaming of Tulips

It’s the dead of winter in sunny old California, but tulips are not to be found even here until the spring.  The beauty of tulips, especially the pale ones, is the vast and subtle array of colors found within a single blossom.  As a kid in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, I loved the arrival of the tulips through the snow.

 

More of the Same Tomatoes

The same tomatoes from yesterday.  This morning, I decided to go with the “direct watercolor” approach – paint directly and do not do any preliminary drawings or use lines.  I think these are more successful than yesterday’s tomatoes – a bit looser and more to my liking.  They do seem to float in space a bit, especially the small one on the right.

Between Seasons

As we move into winter, I think of the places I lived when I was a kid, where 6 feet of snow was a “mild” winter.  Today, the low was about 56 F, and the high about 78 F.  Very different – and as an adult, I admit to preferring a lack of snow to an abundance!  Nonetheless, the seasonal changes are apparent here, just more subtle – the shift in light, the change in the blue.  Even the air smells different.

Working with Inktober, I can feel a shift in how I am approaching drawing, and painting.  I am simplifying but being more specific about the brush or pen size I choose and how to deploy a line or a brush stroke.  While there is a lot to be desired here – such as a sense of architectural reality and non-topsy-turvey houses – I had a lot of fun looking at areas of color as a suggestion, not a reality, as a plane rather than the detail I normally hone in on.

Maybe there is some hope after all!

Buildings from Somewhere

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.