Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Watercolor Learning Experience

There came a point when I was just...done...whether or not some more work would have made this watercolor still life better. 

I swear, it was straight on the scanner.
Please tilt your head slightly to the right.

Some lessons I learned at the hands of this painting:

-- Plan ahead, or at least, get some masking fluid. After the drawing was penciled in, I washed light pink over the whole background, completely forgetting that some areas should have been left white. That didn't matter so much, in fact, the whites of the broken china actually look OK. But I lost the highlights on almost everything. Highlights are important! The ones I was able (or remembered) to leave nearly white (or light pink) make those pieces look pretty nice! The ones that I hit with a little white gouache, at the end (particularly the blue glass shard) look awful.

-- Work for longer stretches. I proceeded from the pink wash to the green bottle bottom. I was off to a good start. Then I walked away from it, and when I went back to the bottle, I had lost my mojo. Or my color mixture. 

-- Set up a lighting situation that can be duplicated, or complete the painting in one sitting. Shape, color, and position of shadows were different every time I sat down to paint.

-- Keep Trying! On a whole, I can look at this and be encouraged to keep painting in watercolors. I like many aspects of this painting.

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