Author Mike Stackpole, once said something to the effect of the hardest part of writing is putting your butt in the chair. For painting, it is putting it on paper. There are a thousand things you can do once you are in your work space, prep work, cleaning, preliminary sketches, choosing what to paint. But it is at the point where you touch brush to paper that the process really begins. I have been working on the list of prompts for #WorldWaterColorMonth and have been busily putting them on Paper. While some of them I love and I am thrilled with how well they came out. Other painting I like only a portion of, or dislike. I am still happy that I did them.
This post is part of #Microblogmondays, an event hosted by Melissa at http://www.stirrup-queens.com/ the point of which is to create a post that is between 1 word to 8 sentences long at home, on your blog, rather than on other social media. Welcome to those visiting from there.
My latest watercolor was one of the many almost finished paintings that have collected at the afraid to ruin it stage. As I first played around with the idea of posting works in progress I took this picture of its early stages.
I was so very pleased with how the water looked. This lead to me starting several other paintings with water with the predictable result that I improved with practice. Now I look at this water and wish it looked better.
I thought about going in and trying to rework the water, but decided that it was finished. The going in and reworking stands a much great chance of ruining what I have here.
There is a balance between my new-found joy at being able to go back into a watercolor painting and reworking it to pieces. So here it is, my latest work, At the Water’s Edge.
Moving away from the shore, I took a few pictures in the inside of the park. They still had that lovely muted feel from the grey overcast day.
These two came from the picnic area just off the play ground.
These are two more photographs that I would like to paint. Each of them has elements about them that I would like to change.
In the first image, “Solitude”, I would like to take the dark silhouette just to the right of the house and make it into a solitary figure. I would also clean up the beach, just a simple smooth stretch of sand.
The change I would make to “Flight” would be to move the flight of birds up into the sky. In both pictures, I would most likely refer to different shots I took along the same stretch for the best wave pattern.
Anytime I see a stretch like this that I want to paint, I always try and take series of wave shots to keep the wave pattern consistent with the shoreline. I have seen a few paintings of great waves, they just were not from that stretch of beach.
In mixing and matching elements, I always check to see if the change I made causes a disconnect. The scale of the figure would have to be correct. It would be easy to make them out of proportion to the small house.
The “house” is actually a set of bathrooms, so it reads as much bigger than it actually was. I am actually more concerned with what seems to be the simpler move of the birds. The birds were flying low to the water, so moving them up to the lighter sky might make visual sense, but it might look odd to anyone who knows birds. I know that I have seen lots of geese flying high in the sky, but the distance would be greater. I will only know once I try it ,if it works.
This is the first in a set of studies that I eventually want to make into paintings. This weekend as I was taking pictures I was noticing the different set of colors that I was seeing on a gray overcast spring day. In a lot of ways, the colors were very muted and peaceful.
This is the latest work in progress on the painting with the working title of Purple Mountains. Previous images can be found:
I decided that the mountain were a little too bright and sharp for the distance, so I put in a hazy glaze in over the mountains and into the grass at the background. I blended it into the lower portion of the sky. In this painting, I wanted to create the appearance of a large field with the small pond. In order to help show the scale, I decided to add a grouping of trees. I was very pleased with how the trunks of the trees came out, I was looking at different ways of creating the appearance of texture. I usually try and paint more detail than would be noticeable from a distance so that I then end up smoothing it out and the trees seem flat. Part of the process is learning to see not what you know is there, but what you actually see.
I will be adding to this post as the painting develops. I decided to create a series of landscapes that are not actual places, but rather just an image in my mind.
I started with a light application of paint, sort of roughing in the scene.
Blue sky and green grass broken up by purple mountains.
In looking at the snapshot of the painting, I realized that I had pretty much put the horizon in the middle of the painting.
I try to avoid doing this as a rule.
I worked on the sky and added snowcaps to the top of the mountains. I also added a lake into the foreground on the lower right, while adding heavier clouds (this does not show up well in this photograph.) on the upper left.