I took a bit of time off from the usual subject matter of my painting. I think this is a good idea, because it’s really easy, for me anyway, to become quite stale and stuck in a particular way of observing things and translating them to paintings. So I went back to watercolor on paper, which for me is much more intricate than my watercolor paintings on Aquabord™. I was looking to loosen up and although these two paintings do not look particularly loose, the journey to the finish line was filled with wipe off, scrape off, flood the area with paint, repeat.
Sturtevant Falls caused me the most grief. I was thinking of throwing it in the trash from the first brushstroke. I had put masking fluid on the water area first to preserve the white splash areas but was very clumsy about it and did not get anything where I had intended to put it. As I kept laying on paint it only got worse. So I decided that since it is a legitimate watercolor technique to scrape away areas where white should be, I put a fresh blade in my X-acto knife and went to work literally shredding the paper. Thankfully Arches watercolor paper is exceptionally sturdy and it survived all my hacking. I had more trouble trying to integrate the lighter rocks (which I had also masked out and which therefore formed a hard outline) into the darker background without having them look cartoonish. More sessions of apply paint, wipe some off, apply more paint. This painting is only about 14″ x 9″, but it took me probably ten hours or so to finish it. Which is why I keep saying I will never be one of those artists with mountains of output every few days!
This painting is even smaller, 7″ x 10″. And I can say that it did not cause me nearly as much grief as the waterfall even though the issues were basically the same. Lots of laying on paint, removing masking fluid, laying on more paint, scraping some off. Mostly I did this one just to play with water effects, but I ended up spending the lion’s share of my time on the tall grasses! Not “high art”, but cute…now, back to the horsies.