In last week’s watercolor class, we did an exercise using masking fluid to preserve white areas of the paper. Once the masking fluid dried we splattered paint on the page, with an emphasis on using analogous colors in the same temperature range, making one color dominant, and touching three sides of the paper with the dominant color.
My analogous colors were Azo Yellow, Gamboge and Napthol Red. Once the painting dried, it was time to add colors that were NOT analogous (next to each other on the color wheel). All my colors are in the warm temperature range (reds that tend to orange, yellows and orange that hint toward red not toward green), except Azo, so I did most of my color lifting in the Azo areas, making it more transparent and soft.
After I peeled off the masking fluid, I added Blue Cobalt for the sky, with light washes of the same color to hint at shadows under the flowers and leaves and grass. That also tied the painting together by having some blue in all areas.
I had a bit of an epiphany with this painting. The teacher, Kathy, keeps her paintings very simple with bright, vibrant colors using broad strokes and she’s finished within minutes. Her work is gorgeous and I’d like to emulate it, but…
…but, I always find myself noodling away with my painting. Adding little details. Looking for shapes and forms and shading, and lifting color to add depth and increase my value range. Sometimes, I make the painting better, and sometimes, I make it worse. In this case, I really like the results I got, but it isn’t what I exactly what I started out to do.
So, when I watch Kathy, and know I want to be able to get the results she does, why do I keep fiddling? I’ve pondered this before, and today, I realized…because I enjoy it. I like seeing what happens if I do this and if I do that.
Frankly, it’s my style.
I think it’s a matter of what I want more. Do I really want to work towards emulating Kathy, not necessarily all the time, but learning how to do what she does or do I just want to enjoy myself. Lol!
So I’ll keep trying to do what Kathy does because I know it will enrich my own style. But if I’m just not happy with the painting until I noodle, I’ll noodle. And not beat myself up, because I did. For better or worse, I had fun!