I began this blog as a travel through my year long watercolour class with Sharon Williams and this class just finished a couple of weeks ago. It was an incredible experience for me and I really learned a lot. Most beneficially it dealt very clearly and practically with areas that I had weaknesses in mainly to do with composition and value. I now feel much better prepared when I approach a painting. I look forward to the next year when I can continue to assimilate a lot of what I learned and put it into my work. It’s appropriate that this image is my latest painting because it represents the year for me. It is a composition that I developed for one of our assignments. I call it Alberta Flats. This work was an attempt to take a little watercolour sketch and do it large, 30″ X 20″. It didn’t really work as a watercolour so this final version is mostly acrylic except for the purple mountain. I had to work pretty hard at it but I feel that most of my decisions have improved the work.
I just completed the latest session of my drawing class: Basic Drawing Skills. It was a really great class and a lot of fun. I am constantly learning from teaching this class, learning about the process of drawing and also about the connection between drawing and who we are as people. Realistic drawing seems to touch us at a very deep level.
This picture was a real experience. It was done in 6 hours in one day. It was done with complete focus and concentration. An almost endless stream of decisions had to be made and in this case most of them worked out. I really like the feeling, especially the rhythm as the viewer can bounce all around the picture. I also like the colour unity. I originally planned an almost black background but this one with it’s flecks of light helps the rhythm of the piece. For me it’s also a large painting 30″ X 24″.
This image of irises is based on one of the value sketches from the previous posts. At first there were too many different colours but a little reworking has brought the image a little more under control. The more I look at it the more I’m starting to like it. It was done on a full sheet of watercolour. It’s worth an entire post just to talk about the difference between doing a small painting and a large one. It really is a different mind set. Now to try to do another one using the other value sketch. Once again I have to appreciate what I’ve learned this year especially in terms of the process that I now go through before I actually paint the image. The compositional, value and colour studies are so important in making the final image successful. These little sketches are a very easy way to resolve any issues and then when I start to paint I am much more able to be in the moment and respond to what the paint is doing on the paper.