Monday, December 27, 2010

Watercolor No. 2

Turquoise Door, 15 1/8" x 11 1/2"

Happy Holidays, and here's wishing everyone an exceptional 2011!

After managing to not make a mess of my previous watercolor, I grabbed another photo and decided to venture forth again. As an absolute newbie to watercolor, I was trying not to get overly invested in the outcome and simply get my feet (brush) wet! I thought this image of a doorway in Hydra, Greece was interesting and this piece was really just another opportunity to practice putting some paint on the paper. I enjoyed experimenting with the various textures and added the cat to help bring some life and balance to the composition. I find the process exciting and it reinforces my interest in watercolor.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Venturing Into Watercolor

Greek Hut, 13 1/4" x 9 1/8"

Well, this was my first foray into watercolor. Actually not really the first, but the first in my more recent artistic endeavors - this was done about two years ago. As I've mentioned before, I'd primarily worked in colored pencil. I think that was in response to my years as a sign painter, working daily with oil based paints and solvents, which I then wanted to avoid at home. However, as much as I truly enjoy drawing, I found some of my pieces became very labor intensive. Lord knows I try to fight my artistic nature and loosen up, but somehow I keep finding myself mired in detail! For instance, just doing the background motif in "Pond Shadows", seen in my first post, took two days to complete! So, while the effort is often worth the result, I just felt I wanted a break from it and had a desire to pursue a new medium.

A beautifully done watercolor has a dynamic to it that I have always found intriguing. I think because it has that whole Yin-Yang thing going for it. While it can appear very spontaneous and fluid, it's also a challenging medium that requires control and planning. I thought it might be a good fit for me, in that it still allowed for some drawing but a more immediate approach to the coloring of the image - and I love the transparency and luminosity of it! Many of my earlier attempts at watercolor seemed to end up in a pool of muddy color, probably from my impatience and lack of forethought. This time around I decided to try to be a bit more deliberate and methodical. With that in mind, I grabbed an old vacation photo of a rustic building near Hydra, Greece and jumped in! This was the result, and I was encouraged that it actually came out somewhat as I'd hoped and it left me inspired to try some more watercolor!