Saturday, September 17, 2011

Coming into Focus

 I finally got back to painting! I've let a vacation, school starting, lots of canning, and who knows what else get in the way the last couple of weeks, but I took advantage of a Saturday and dusted off the brushes. This was thanks to my wonderful husband taking the kids, in particular my baby who doesn't let me out of sight or reach much, and entertaining them out of the house for a chunk of the day. So in anticipation of the "Florals in Watercolor" class that I'll be teaching starting this week, I got to work on some incredibly vibrant zinnias. Their explosions of color is just candy to my eyes. I love it. So I started with two large wet-into-wet areas (which means making an area completely wet, and then putting wet paint into it).
I was hoping this would give me an exciting base where the watercolor could just do what watercolors do best without me having to work hard for the results :) Kinda cheating. Kinda awesome. Then I went back in and worked at creating depth by adding layers of colors (mostly around and behind the petals - making them pop by adding contrast behind them, leaving the lighter areas alone), best seen in the bottom of the left flower, and by taking color out (done by using a wet brush that usually had no paint in it or maybe just some yellow, and kind of brushing it out), best seen in the top of the flower at right. Fun to use two different methods to achieve the same result. And I love how in both cases, the flower slowly emerges from the original color as if it was always there and is just now coming into focus. I'm considering leaving these about half done so I can demonstrate these two techniques in class. That or I guess I could complete it and then start over showing more or less how I got it there. Hmmm ... obviously I'm still figuring out how I'm going to teach. I'm excited though. This is fun! And thinking about it has made me think about what I do and why. I'm not a very methodical painter, and have always felt like I just kinda do what feels right, experimenting and figuring it out as I go. And while that is true (read I don't really know what I'm doing), I am realizing as I paint thinking about this class and imagining what I will say as I demo, that there are specific things I do for specific reasons. Who knew? This may help me more than anyone in my class!

1 comment:

  1. I love these!!! I want some in my house (painting and real!) And its sounding like you are getting a good grip on the class. Good luck!