Saturday, May 23, 2009

Waltzing Around Watercolor

I seem to go back and forth with watercolor between,one, being somewhat more expressive and less limited by what I actually see and, two, trying to be more accurate. As in all art the desire for accuracy can also lead to overcaution, tentativeness, etc. Today's watercolor of an Acadian Flycatcher that I saw and photographed in Shenandoah National Park a couple of weeks ago tends towards more accuracy and maybe more tentativeness.

That was not the problem a year ago when I photographed another Acadian Flycatcher in almost the exact same spot. He was so far away that the photo just showed the slightest hint of shape and posture. So with that photo I concentrated more on the overall composition of the pastel drawing. The Flycatcher was a very small part of the drawing though it still was the focus. (Someone might legitimately ask: well if it was in the same place why did you get such a better, more detailed photo this year? The answer is a new camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ28. It has an 18x optical zoom compared to 10x of my last Lumix. I'm not a camera person and don't have the time, money or inclination to carry a lot of camera gear. But these Lumix cameras with fairly high optical zooms with Leica lenses fit my purposes well. And..... are in my limited price range).

I'm not sure what stage I'm at with this new watercolor. I thought I might be done but after photographing it the watercolor does not seem finished. I did try to stay true to the beautifully gradated colors of the Flycatcher, though they are really a bit more olive than this shows at the moment. I'm afraid any more work on it may ruin it through overwork, which may have been a problem in the last couple of watercolors I did.

So as I'm say I'm 'waltzing around watercolor', waiting to see what I should do next. I'll probably know tomorrow or the next day after having let this sit for a bit.

The drawing above is a preliminary sketch for this watercolor. It's nothing special but I thought some readers might find it informative. In it I'm just trying to get a general sense of where I want the bird placed in the watercolor. It ended up being pretty close to this though I did move it up just a bit.

1 comment:

Ken Januski said...

I'm glad you enjoy it Susan. There's a lot to read along with here! You must have read a bit to get back this far.