I figured that I am trying to rest my eyes, I would skip painting on my detailed watercolor painting of the middle Yuba.
Something easy….hmmmm so it hit me! I enjoyed painting “color notes” on a past post Daring Watercolor #16. It was by accident and by trial because I figured why not use that moppish looking brush that I have had for several years? When I first used it I didn’t like all the water it holds, hmm…. perhaps this is why it is called a “mop”? Hello!
I had a squirrel hair mop frolicking good time! Wow, what a mouthful! I feel exclamatory today, sorry if it offends.
This are my first few color notes:
Then I decided to paint larger and decided to use this reference photo for another color note:
Oh I loved painting this one! Oh, don’t even get me started. I had to really rein in that internal fiddler that I have deep down. I have officially put that “fiddler” away and she is not allowed to come out to mess up my paintings no more (big talk!). I did a two tone color note. Hey, I am making up these terms as I go along. I did a “double decker” color note. Maybe that term fits better.
After the initial first note dried thoroughly I laid down my second note for the trees and what ever it takes to bring more to the scene but no more! Use the whites and negative space for part of the painting. Be creative.
I decided to start another one because I had so much fun on the first one:
What I have learned:
- Don’t take more than one brush stroke or two at the maximum. More than two turns into a fiddling session.
- Embrace yellow, it is so fun to see that bossy color push the other colors away. Learn to use that frivolous and often flamboyant little rascal. Now if you wondering what I mean, give it a try after your colors are down and you need a spot of yellow (colors are still well) and you’ll see how pushy this color is! Oh boy what fun though! My inner “bully” just got a rip out of that.
- With these color notes, I didn’t focus on detail, or how to, where or what…just color and light! I squinted out all the detail and focused on those elements. After all that is what our eyes and brains react to first, it is color and light and then detail and what it is that we are looking at.
- Don’t go back to fix something that I laid down, such as those long shadows. Sometimes we artists want to take back on a decision made or don’t like what we see. Often it takes a while to realize that it isn’t so bad or it actually works out in the latter part of the painting experience. Don’t touch it! I really wanted to so much…..NO….just say no! Why do we people such a hard time with the word “no”?
- Continuing on with the above point, I wanted to just say that trying to undo a decision while painting puts a stop in that creative process. The need to keep a rein on things is the opposite of the natural interplay between the left brain (need for order and control) and the right side of the brain (creative, go for it). I rather risk failure than to overly control a painting. Watercolor is the perfect medium for those “happy accidents”.
- For these sloppy, wet color notes, always use 140# or better yet 300# (on my list). I don’t believe in 90# being used for watercolor anyway, just had to re-emphasize the paper choices.
- These color notes is a good exercise to loosen up and to strip down a scene for an essence rather than the whole tamale. I think of it as closing your eyes and smelling….using only one sense and not all of your senses.
Time to rest my eyes, see you on Monday….