Buzz told me recently that he was really glad that I have stuck with something. It made me laugh but also made me feel deeply proud. I know I have the tendency to try out new mediums, go all-in and intend to create a thousand things using one medium and then get tired of it, or bored, and let my progress fall by the wayside.
Watercolors have really held my attention and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why. When I was a child I hated watercolors, and because of that experience I am certain that it colored my view of it as an adult. I was staunchly unwilling to give it another try until I was in my 30’s because I was convinced that it was a form of art that I wasn’t interested in. It was too delicate, it was too fussy, the colors always end up looking muddy.
At some point I started watching “speed paints” on youtube and realized that I hadn’t been entirely fair to watercolors. They can be fussy, sure, but that’s part of their beauty. With experience, you can be relatively certain how a watercolor picture is going to look by the time you’re done, but as a novice there’s certainly a lot of trying and guessing, putting things down on paper while being completely unsure of how it’s going to look in the end. That’s certainly an adventure in itself. And watercolors can be beautifully bold, but when they are delicate they are just as gorgeous, and the paint’s subtlety is one of its greatest strengths.
All of this is to say that I am excited about my progress. I know I have the tendency to focus on female faces, and night skies, but I’m okay with that. It may seem like I am repeating myself over and over again, but the more I do, the more finely tuned my art becomes and that’s exactly what I want to be working towards.
“Europa”, watercolor and white ink, was done for my sister and now resides on her dining room wall. I feel like she has more of my original artwork than I do!
Another thing that I have been consciously trying to make sure that I do are color compositions. I hadn’t really thought about having “drafts” of my artwork since school, but printing out paper with mini versions of my final image and experimenting with different colors and values has not only been a really fun way to figure out a final version of a painting, but has given me more opportunities to experiment with different techniques and allowed me to practice how I want to set up the larger, finished painting. Nothing is worse than thinking that I have the perfect vision in my head only to ruin the final version because my vision doesn’t jive with my paints.
Having this process also lets me mull over different possibilities over the course of a day or more, and go back and recreate the same colors and test them on swatches of white in between the compositions, work out how I want to color in the detailing, or make sure that I have the colors on my palette mixed properly.
And here is the finished verison of the painting that I was working on the compositions for! I will likely draw the same image again on more watercolor paper and use another composition from the above four to create a second version of this painting because I like the composition, and of course because practicing makes me better at my craft.
From a different angle, to show the gold detailing.
“Halo” will be available very soon in my etsy store! I will provide a link when I have the stock in my hands. There will be two sizes available – an ACEO size, and a 5″x7″. Both will have the gold detailing hand painted on them (The prints I have ordered of “Halo” were of pictures taken before any of the final gold detailing was laid down), and if you are interested in purchasing a print, please be sure to subscribe to my blog! The second version of this piece will likely also be offered in prints as well, and I will update you on that as soon as I have them done.