Beautiful Setting + Loads of Time + Creative Itch + a new set of Watercolour paints and paper = two weeks of fun
I am in no ways an artist – but I do have a ton of fun playing like one. And when you have a view like this one – it is impossible to not be inspired.
Elizabeth and I both had a go at it, and it was fun to see our different styles. Elizabeth is much more free-flowing and captures the beautiful translucency of the paint, while I tended to work it very similar to the acrylic paints I am more accustomed to. The results of the same images were drastically different.
My compositions were from actual settings, but in the last one, I composed the scene from my “drive by (photo) shoot”.
Painting No. 1: The scene from sitting on my bed in the loft of our holiday cottage. I literally just sketched (did I say I am not an artist?) and tried to duplicate what I saw with the paint. My big lesson on this painting – aside from the fact that watercolours need more water – was that using other tools than brushes can work well for some effects. I used the end of a piece of card dipped in the paint to make the lines in the grass and reed walls. It was a good practice – however I am disappointed in the feel of it as it ended up looking like a nice colouring in job. More water, looser brush strokes – and some basic perspective adjustments as well.
Painting No 2: This was part of a photo I took at Inhambane Bay. I started this as a practice piece for a larger painting I want to do one day. Because I had decided it was just for practice, I was a little more relaxed. I still tended to overwork the focal point, however I did work on the composition and colour value a bit. I tried to reserve white without masking fluid, but it was a bit of a challenge. The end result was much more satisfactory and I might even put this little guy in a frame.
Painting No 3: This one is a completely composed scene from 4 different photos I took. It isn’t yet finished, but because I am now back home and no longer indulging in the luxury of relaxed afternoons, I might never get it done, so I’ll post it anyway. I worked specifically on the composition and detail on the focal point. My biggest challenge was that I cannot paint faces (yet) and in my photos, because of the darkness of the interior of the shops and the darkness of the complexions, the figures appeared to not have heads. This just did not look right in paint. Also, the man pushing the wagon will soon get a hat, because he required more detail on his face and I just can’t yet work it out.
All in all, I think I have found some definite bonus points for watercolours that I haven’t seen in acrylics. The paint is much more sensitive and willing to be moved and worked. I enjoyed playing with it, and whether or not I treated it properly, it was still a great learning experience. I also love the ethereal feeling it can give when not overworked, and as I get better, this will be something I may strive for.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has experience with watercolour and what tips and techniques you find useful ! 🙂