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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Studying + Experimenting = Bluebells

4x6, Watercolor

I mentioned in my last post that I've been doing a lot of experimenting with both technique and color. My practice sheets look like someone painted them who was under the influence (I assure you I was not... honestly!). After intently reading (and re-reading) both Glorious Garden Flowers in Watercolor by Susan Harrison-Tustain, and Paint Watercolors That Dance With Light by Elizabeth Kincaid, I wanted to put some of the things I've been working on into one painting. I elected to do a small study because I didn't want a lot of time tied up in the painting... it was just for practice and I didn't want to feel that I had to turn out a "finished painting".

Pictured is the resulting study, "Bluebells". The techniques I was practicing in this study are: getting a handle on smoothly glazing multiple layers; using those layers of glazed color to mix secondary and tertiary colors optically instead of premixing on the palette; and some practice for dark, out of focus backgrounds. Oh, and the thing that has been pretty much eluding me.... saving that doggone white space!

I managed to overwork a few parts (old habits don't die easily) but not too much. This was a great learning experience. I'm finding out that what works for me is to closely study a new technique, try it out multiple times on throw-away practice sheets until I begin to get a feel for it, then tie it together by using the new technique in a small, no-pressure painting.
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