My goodness, my titles are getting complex! While preparing my breakfast, I looked out and saw “the perfect lighting” on my Madrone trees. I immediately grabbed my watercolor supplies and out the back door I went. Forget breakfast!
We have had some cooling down and it has been quite chilly. I heard that up at the Sierra Buttes area, they were having snow flurries!
I bought some new paper and for my first painting, I used Saunders 200# cp. I really liked the surface of this paper, at first it didn’t seem to be much difference between Saunders and Arches except that Saunders has a softness and receptiveness that I like. I think that I would like to try out the rough version next time. I wanted to try out a heavier paper and I was so pleased that it didn’t buckle at all. I am too lazy to stretch my paper, I know I should but I don’t. I have done it in the past and found that it still buckled. I followed all the instructions to the T and have tried several times.
Do I love this paper or what? Yes I do! very much. It forces you to be bold, to make decisive marks and leave the paper alone. I have noticed that you can lift the color easily but be careful because there isn’t much resistance in that lifting, so it can be quite stark, make your lifting decisive. Another observation is that excessive brushwork will disturb the natural beauty of the surface, I limited my brushstrokes to only one or two strokes in the same area. If you take a closer look, the texture is very unique and has a mottled, valley appearance. If you are picky with the surface of your paper, this might be a deal breaker. I liked the surface very much and the way the paint goes on, it is magical. I don’t mind finicky paper because it teaches me exactly what I want to learn with watercolor.
With my third painting, my attempt at painting my blue hydrangea got lost in the shuffle. I had cut around the blue flowers but later on second thought brought in some surrounding colors and then poof….I lost them. I do like that tree to the right of it. I think that I was losing steam and you can see it in this painting. I value this painting regardless because of the learning points….which are:
- Be willing to embrace and learn from new papers, don’t be afraid to step out from the familiar, either with paper, paints or techniques.
- You don’t have to know where you are going while painting, it is like asking the driver “are we there yet?” it causes tension and chases away enjoyment.
- The more you paint, confidence will build and the know how. Carpenters or tree fallers don’t know how to frame a house or fall a tree on the first day, give it time, it is a learning process.
- Learn to mingle on your paper, over mixing is a killer, I thought about this as I mingled my colors, I have to resist the fear of the unknown and trust that there will be magic.
- Don’t change your mind at the last minute unless you know you can pull it off successfully. As my Dad used to tell us….”Don’t change horses in the middle of the stream”.