Wait -- WHAT?? What happened to Day Forty-three, you ask? Yeeeeaaaah, about that. . .
I actually did do a painting yesterday and it was going really well. I was quite happy with the way it turned out, except for one teeny, tiny, little thing: The girl in the image looked sad. I tried to change the shading, add a dimple, a smile line. The more I tried, the worse became.
It turns out that watercolor paper does not like to be overworked and it will pay you back by pilling and shredding and generally looking awful. So my beautiful, sad girl was made to look more than sad and there was no way to repair her. No way that I have learned, anyway.
So nearing midnight, I did a quick, freehand flower. I didn't want to use it because I had put so much time into the first painting. I didn't post it. I didn't post anything thinking I would have time to redeem myself today. That didn't quite work out as planned, and that's okay! This is all a learning experience: Learning about the paint, the brushes, the papers, deadlines, time management.
These paintings are the product of a couple of very packed days. Not my best work, but they are on the page. As one of my favorite artists is known to say, "Finished, not perfect."
Again with the flowers! I have loved flowers all of my life. Everything from dandelions to the most cultivated roses and exotic orchids. They all inspire me. At one point in my life, I worked at a flower shop and even toyed with the idea of opening a shop of my own. That didn't happen for various reasons, but there is a lot of life ahead, so who knows??
The next few days are going to be a challenge. There are multiple projects and multiple deadlines looming. So far, I have been keeping my head above the water, but under the surface the paddling is ferocious. :) Everything will work out, some things may have to give, but the time will pass and I will do my best to fulfill every obligation. Sleep is for sissies! Right?
No pencils were harmed in the creation of this painting! I decided since I am so opposed to pencil lines showing through my painting, I would just attempt one without drawing first. It had to be simple, at least in my mind. I'm sure there are accomplished watercolorists who wing it every day, I am not one of these -- yet.
This actually started out as an idea for one thing and turned into something entirely different. I was asked if I could create an ombre effect, which is how this started out. However, after the first couple of washes, it appeared to me as an evening sky over the seashore. That's the creative mind for you, it zigs when it was supposed to zag. Some of the happiest accidents begin that way.
Wouldn't you like to have a cup of tea with this little guy? I'm sure he would love to join you -- two lumps, no cream.
I've been playing with negative space the past two days and I'm really liking the results. I do the original sketch, transfer it to the watercolor paper, lay down a light wash to get general shapes, and then I erase all the sketch lines. I don't like being able to see pencil lines through the paint and this seems to be the perfect solution. It takes a bit more time, but I'm getting a more polished look (in my opinion) than all those messy lines. It may just be because my lines ARE messy and therefore make the finished piece look messy to me. Other artists may be able to create lighter or more tidy sketches, but that is not me.
I hope you will take the time to join Mr. Squirrel in a cup of tea!
Back home after a week on the road. We had the best time, but it's good to be home.
I prepared for our week away so that I wouldn't fall behind on this challenge. I packed a separate "art bag" packed with pencils, erasers, sketchbook, watercolor paper, a travel box of paint, and water pens. I was ready!
This was my first experience with water pens and I have to tell you, I didn't love it. It may have been because the pens I bought were not the most expensive and perhaps not as well built as others, but they gave me so much less control than I had expected. The brush stayed wet. I mean REALLY wet. It was frustrating for the paper to become saturated, which extended the drying time and also disrupted the integrity of the paper.
This also led to results that were not exactly what I wanted. I liked the subject matter of each painting, but the lack of cooperation from the water pens and a bit of adjustment to pan watercolor created challenges to achieving the desired results.
Next time I go on a trip, I will take my art gear -- ALL of it -- for the project at hand. It really would not have been all that difficult to take the few brushes I use every day. That would have made the on-the-road painting more enjoyable for me and I think it would have really helped the outcome of the last six paintings.
I enjoyed my special painting time at the end of each day even with the challenges. Those challenges taught me how to deal with things I haven't faced thus far in this project. I appreciate the hurdles because they teach me and that's why I started this to begin with! :)
I saw this little fox on the internet and she captured my heart. For those who believe it's impossible for an animal to smile, I say just look at this face! Very little emotion was added to the reference photo. She's just a happy little camper. :)
This one was a bit of a challenge. I really liked the sketch, but when I transferred it to the watercolor paper it looked a little wonky. I thought I could fix it during the painting stage, but that didn't work as well as I had hoped and was, perhaps, even worse. I set that one aside, went out to dinner with my family, got home and started over. The painting I am posting is actually the third attempt with the same sketch. The second one was drying, awaiting the finishing touches, and I bumped it. With most other mediums that wouldn't matter. With a very wet watercolor, it does. She ended up with permanent streaks down her face and onto the background. I even tried to turn her into a warrior by incorporating the streaks into the design. No luck.
So I started over. I'm glad I did, too. She is nothing at all like the other two and is a bit more fluid than what I'm normally comfortable with. Trying to make the deadline actually forced me to step outside my comfort zone and I'm happy with the result. I hope you enjoy the final result as much as I do! :)
This is beginning to look like a pattern, but I promise it isn't! The painting was actually completed and even posted to Twitter and Instagram. I just didn't have access to my computer and updating my blog from my phone got the best of me. At any rate here is the painting for yesterday, which will be followed in short order by the painting for today. :)
First deadline missed -- RATS! I hope missing it by just over an hour will be excused since I was celebrating a wonderful couple becoming man and wife. It was lovely and I wouldn't have missed it for the world!
I saw this child while I was out and about today. She was so confident and absolutely sure she looked fabulous! You could tell it in the way she moved and in her fashion choices. Wouldn't it be great if we could all move through the world that way: Unafraid of, and unscathed by, harsh judgements? I know it's probably not realistic, but it sure would be nice. Everyone should feel free to wear that sparkly pink tutu (fill in your dream wardrobe here) and not give one thought to what people might whisper. This little girl did and she was AWESOME!
Artist and author.