Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Daily Painting Practice- New Direction - Part two - Field studies in watercolor and oil

First, let me start by thanking everyone who commented and emailed me on last weeks post. I am so grateful for all your suggestions, ideas and the encouragement I received for my problem with painting the peonies. Of course, after taking in all those comments and suggestions ,  I made my decision...
I think it was either Rembrandt or Gandhi who said.
"It is the wise artist who knows when it is time to hang it up."
 In my case, that is just what I am doing. I am hanging it up on the wall in front of me until I know what  I want to do.
In the mean time-
I mentioned I was going to try studying nature (plants and birds) and try to use watercolor. TRY is the key word here. I am out of the comfort zone with watercolors, but why should that stop me?  I  am using my plein air box that I bought for oils. The  turpentine can works great  with water  but the plastic watercolor palette I had was 1/8" too wide to fit the box .... so I cut off the end with a hacksaw.
You can see the  watercolor palette now fits perfectly.  I sketched out the  tomato leaf then  laid in a wash  of yellow. I thought it was a good beginning.  It's 95 degrees outside, so the watercolor dries very fast.

The hardest thing I am finding with my first watercolor...thinking ahead. I'm not used to thinking in layers  of color this way. I'm using my brain in the opposite way  I do when doing oils. Figuring out how to mix the correct color is very tough too.. I keep reverting back to painting like it was oils.  My mind  is getting fried ... and it's not from the heat.

Since my oil painting composition of the peonies isn't working I thought I would try another idea....in watercolor.  A simpler arrangement... Here is what  my beginning  looks like.
I know , I know. What was I thinking! It looks so easy when people who know what they are doing  paint this way..... my artist's brain is throwing a fit. It wants to apply the paint like oils, but  my eyes are enjoying the  subtle values of the watercolor. This will take a while for me to get used to.

So in the mean time-
I'll fall back to  the familiar
 Rose Study
oil on canvas board


kayce hughes said...

I am in love with the start of the watercolor peonies!

Celeste Bergin said...

I have been doing watercolor sketches on a weekly basis with a friend of mine who is a "real" watercolorist. (humbling!) I identify with your post...because the watercolor experience is awkward for me too...but, I know the masters often worked in watercolor before committing to oil...shouldn't I be able to do this? haha. I loved reading once that Georgia O'Keeffe absolutely threw up her hands over watercolor. It is the Master's medium and many do not have any appreciation for the skill it requires. Thanks for posting this..I admire how serious you are about practice...your work always looks exceptional.

Anonymous said...

Yes, oh Yes ! The start to the watercolor peonies is wonderful. They lop over in just the right way, too! Love the bud. Yes! Peter is painting with watercolor!!!!!
-The Moss Queen

René PleinAir said...

Hey I recognize that shed and fence!! And enjoying it every day!!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Long time, no see Peter!
Lovely roses indeed.

Unknown said...

Please Please continue with the watercolors. i am a confirmed watercolorist - it is my medium of choice but I have also committed the last two years to learning oils which I find awkward after 20 years painting in watercolors.

Jala Pfaff said...

Your florals are wonderful!

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