Like most of us I like to think that one day I’ll just “get it” and then painting will be effortless self expression. This is very short sighted thinking of course, because it’s the drive to evolve as a painter which motivates me to practice, practice, practice, even when things are not going particularly well. Practice, as in effort. My friends who participate in challenges, like the #30X30directwatercolor2018 challenge which is going on this month, understand this. Paint something every day and you can’t help but evolve, even though on any particular day it may feel like you’re sliding backward.
Suhita suggested doing more than one of the same subject. So after two tries at the pagoda on Stowe Lake, I tried a third, this time from a tiny picture on my phone, direct watercolor. Taking the advise of Marc, to get farther away or work from a less detailed pictures.
A quick and dirty direct watercolor with fewer specifics yet more fresh and appealing. Here’s the first two:
In the first I got mesmerized by the up close detail. In the second I was far enough away that I had to make up details, when I should have left them out!
Another day I was sketching in Sebastopol with a view of Gravenstein Station. My first try, in direct watercolor was highly frustrating! Not having the pen line to rely on, my watercolor application got too tight and descriptive, choking out the light.
It certainly represents the scene relatively accurately, but I think I pretty much killed it dead. With 10 minutes left til I had to go, I did this less ambitious sketch and liked it much better.
Direct watercolor with white pen line added at the end
Another day I decided to practice figures with no preplanning, just drawing/painting directly, from another phone photo.
I was testing my ability to paint shapes with no drawn or painted line. Great practice but clumsy outcome. And definitely missing the spirit of the music.
Determined to do a first-thing-in-the-morning direct watercolor I did this selfie in my pajamas while sipping chai (from my computer monitor). It bears little resemblance to me (which haunts me! how to fix it!) but again, great practice.