I painted yesterday at the river and I wasn’t happy with the results. Ugly is as ugly decides! I realize too late that it was the problematic value platform….again. This was my scene.
Here is my painting, peek, don’t look too closely, very ugly. I decided it is good for my ego to show the uglies.
This painting kicked my value butt big time. I had to admit that I bit off a big bite, more than I could handle because I realized that I had promised myself that I would be doing a value sketch before starting my painting. I lied! The sun would shine and then the clouds would start passing over ahead and of course it was mostly cloudy when I painted this view. I also realized that I have been using rough 140# without utilizing the wonderful attributes of the paper. I had that in mind and also fighting the values. Ugly happens to the best of us!
Myself perched on a rock trying to paint, my “granddoggie” enjoying the river and daughter Amanda and her husband, Luis. All having a wonderful day, no fish, not a decent painting but fun regardless.
Alright, we needed to look at something pretty.
Today I decided to combine yesterday’s plein air excitement and today’s paintings done at home. The first one is based upon some pictures I took of a local flower, Indian Pink. I am including the reference photo because well, it is pretty.
This was difficult and then easy, at least it felt that way at first. When I deactivated my needy brain for “order”, I had an easy time. I decided to dance with watercolor and boy did we kick up the paint! Interesting how in the past I would freak out inside because things would veer from my idea of what I intended. The senario would be that I would continue on with the freak out plane for the entire ride. This time around, I settled for the chaos and decided to dance this African style dance that Watercolor decided was the way to go today!
Since I was having a glorious time, the painting below came about from a reference photo of a redwood tree that I had taken some time back. I probably could have worked on getting my yellow and blue to mix more properly to get that mossy green in the tree. Maybe another painting, another time. Regardless, I am learning to let go of the picture in my mind or copy a reference photo to the T. This exercise in a way was a loosening up of my ideals. For me that is a trip to the moon! I might go back and give it more depth or I might just leave it alone, or perhaps it might be artist muscle exercise.
What I learned:
- Make good use of rough watercolor paper, learn how to dry brush like the master watercolorists of times past.
- Freaking out because I am supposedly losing my control or grip on the painting only keeps me frigid and continuing the freaking out feeling.
- Allow the gap between my ideals and the outcome to be wide or narrow, it doesn’t matter in the scheme of things.
- Be willing to dance the waltz, the two-step or a wild African dance, dancing is dancing and it’s fun!