Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thinking with watercolor

A good habit I have been trying to develop is working up an idea before jumping into painting on the canvas.  With still-life oil painting I usually do a small 3 x 4 inch black and white sketch, these cartoons help with developing the compositional lay-out.  But sometimes an idea needs more and that is when watercolors are perfect.

I had a photo from last summer, of morning light at the edge of a tree lined stream.  I want to paint it in oil but just did not know where to start.  So I did a quick wash in watercolor to get a feel for the colors.
Liked the rough wash so kept going.....
"Light at the Creek Bend"  14 x 11 inches
Available at DPWs
Working with the watercolors is a natural way for me to determine tone and edges, possibly because it is the medium I know the best.

After finishing this one, another idea came to mind, with all the materials out and ready, I just kept going.
16 x 20 inches watercolor
"Contemplation of Each"
With this one I wanted to see how hard it would be to free hand a mirror image.
Not a perfect (or even close to it) mirror image but it was great practice!  There was something fun and interesting about trying this, I was tempted to work with a brush in each hand....huh 
Think I see my next experiment :)


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