Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Don't Brake for Drying Waterclors...

But I really ought to. I decided to try another small watercolor based on photos I took of Piping Plovers in April. I posted an earlier watercolor of them in May I think. One thing that fascinated me about the scene was the way that the sand alternated between an orange ochre and a gray blue. I decided that I wanted to try to get that into this watercolor

The other side of this scenario is that from a distance the plovers completely disappear into the sand. So though it has orange and blue casts it also looks like just one color from a distance. So as I developed this watercolor I didn't really have a good plan. I just improvised with the sand, going back and forth between a strong contrast and a weak one. I also used a broad brush, rarely trying to get the texture of the sand. My problem is that I just wouldn't wait for the first coat of watercolor to dry.

So as I went back and forth with different ideas about the sand I kept going back into wet watercolor. Sometimes this works. At other times it can lead to a muddy mess.

I'm not sure where I'm at here but I suspect I'm pretty close to a muddy mess. So I decided to stop and write this post, forcing myself to let the watercolor dry, and also forcing myself to take a break and look at it without a paintbrush in my hand. Most likely I won't touch this again until tomorrow. I hope I can do something to resolve any possible muddy messes.


Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Great title! I think you've achieved good lighting on the birds. The left one really has volume. If I cover the top of the painting so there's less of the blue shape, I'm finding more harmony and more focus on both bird's heads. Looking forward to seeing where you go with your brake job :)

Ken Januski said...

Hi Pam,

Well sad to say I think that the title was the best part of this. My idea of showing the orange and blue casts of the sand just didn't work out and I've ended up with a horribly overworked painting.

I'm afraid I've even lost some of the success of the plovers in working over the background so thoroughly. But sometimes you just have to try things, even when you fear that they might not work.

I still have many photos of these plovers and I keep thinking that I can do a bright fresh watercolor that captures both them and the sand. So I'm sure I'll give them another try one of these days! Hopefully it will be worth the long and painful wait.