Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Variegated I" (draft 2)

(image 1)

(image 2)

Today's posting is the second image from yesterday with more layers. More than likely, there will be no more layers added except for the lettering. My quote will be...."Variegated thoughts are running through my mind."

This piece today represents me processing and practicing glazing and layering to create interesting shapes, edges, and maintaining the luminous qualities of watercolor. Like you, I am on a "learning curve" with these techniques since it has been a very long time since I made watercolor a part of my voice.

I am pleased that I did not overwork each layer by going over and over it. My mind was firmly wrapped around the idea of waiting until it was completely dry before adding more layers. Having said that, I really need to practice the ratio of water to paint. There are times when the water in the brush needs to be completely squeezed out before dipping it into more color.

And the value created by how much water is added to the pigment is also a major factor. I did exercise some control by testing my value on a "work off" piece before adding it to the actual piece. And I think this is a good practice tip, even with much experience. And I am also practicing different techniques on a 4" x 4" piece of 140 lb CP in between working on my other work.

My plan is to make notations of what I did on each 4 x 4, punch a hole in the corner, and place them on a binder ring. (They are available at office supply stores.) The reason these kind of exercises are important is to have a ready reference to make it easier in selecting which techniques to use to accomplish a specific goal. You can also cut out visual inspirations and mount them on large shipping tags and also place those on a binder ring. They also make a pretty display in a wood or decorative bowl in your studio.

So you can see in the two images today which colors I layered and in what order.  (My inspiration was the leaf patterns on an "Angel" plant....so you are seeing the top side of the leaf which is green and the underneath side of other leaves which is red.)  Planning out a layering strategy requires thinking ahead through the piece and then plotting your strategy. It's like thinking ahead and thinking backwards at the same time. You can also have no thought at all and simply paint whatever comes to mind. And that does work occasionally, but for long term success, you and I will both be better served by learning the basic techniques, color priniciples, and possible compositions before going crazy.

If you cannot recount to yourself and others what you did to create a particular look, then you can never intentionally repeat it. This means you will be starting at square one every time you paint. It will simply be a roll of the dice. Even artists who work very intuitively are thinking about a few things that are very important and making decisions as they go along. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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