Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Going Big with Watercolor

Making the transition from small and private to so big it really can't be private can be a scary thing.

A friend suggested I sit in on a watercolor studio class, and having gone once and talked to the artist in charge, I'm going back during the month of July.  Three hours a day, Monday through Friday for four weeks.

He generously looked through several of my sketchbooks and said many lovely things.  Then told me he wanted me to work on three things in particular:

1.  Going big.  Bigger than any of my sketchbooks, for sure, but better, at least 18 x 24.

2.  Not losing my sketchbook style when I go big.  Whatever that means...

3.  "Letting the watercolor do more of the work for you."  Whatever that means....

But that's why I'm going to take the studio!  To learn!

So, I went home, dug out an 18 x 24 Strathmore 400 watercolor paper pad, and worked on a painting.  I wanted to keep my sketchbook style (or try) so I started off the bat with my trusty fountain pen.  Then I went in with the watercolors.  Many many many layers of watercolors, to get the values the way I wanted them.

This took me about five hours.  

I worked from a photo I took when I visited Ireland some years ago.

That was particularly fun because I've dedicated my scribbling to live subjects for the last two plus years, so I haven't worked from the many many wonderful photographs I have from travels and even from around my home.  I feel like there is a treasure trove there waiting to be used.

I'm pretty pleased with it, especially as a first shot at creating something that big.  I can see that the work I've done is really paying off.

So, for the next few weeks, prepare to journey with me in the "Going Big" painting project.  Not sure what's in store... but it will be big.

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