After this exercise I'm looking forward more than ever to Hazel Soan's workshop next month, in which the aim will be to maintain fresh vibrant watercolour, with immediacy, boldness, liveliness - with strong depth of colour and light and shade - I know I've had moments in watercolour where I've achieved some of that, but it all seems to have escaped me right now - roll on March 15th!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Sunshine and light
First of all, I want to thank each one of you who left comments on my previous post, and on Urban Sketchers - I was bowled over by the warmth, empathy and defensive outrage that supportively flooded my inbox, as well as from friends who phoned and emailed. It really made a bitter pill easier to glug down and reminds me again that most people are good, very good - kind and loving. Thank you, thank you! After a period of adrenaline over-supply, in which I cleaned and scrubbed and sorted, came a few days of exhaustion and resignation, and then a pull towards colour, light, innocence and freedom from care and worry. I found an old black and white photo of myself taken on Grotto Beach, Hermanus in the Cape - one of very few photos of me as a child - that perfectly encapsulated those qualities for me, and tried to paint it in colour... well anxiety and watercolour didn't mix too well - my flat washes were anything but, my figure was murky (left), but I quite liked the way the umbrellas and loose figures came out on the beach. I tried the girl figure again (right), and started a new painting with all together on a clean sheet of paper, which must be old and heat damaged (my studio bakes in summer), as it just sucked up the paint and allowed nothing to flow at all. So I resorted to Photopaint and put the cleaner figure on the beach (below), and then flattened and intensified my sky and darkened the figure in the shadow - in the top painting. If only one could manipulate life (and watercolour) so easily!