Saturday, January 21, 2006
More Chinese Vases
Continuing on with an oriental motif, I made use of the Chinese vases and primroses again. One thing I always notice, and dislike in many watercolors I see, is that the colors seem thin and pale. It's as if the artist was timid or perhaps was painting with one of those little watercolor sets you give a child. On the otherhand, a really well done watercolor IMHO makes use of deep, rich, resonant colors. That's what I'm after here in these sketches, learning to get that depth of color without overworking and getting muddy. Watercolor is hard because you ability to "fix" mistakes is limited and there quickly comes a point of no return. It unfortunately happened in this sketch. I wanted to correct the edge of the blue vase at the opening on top and to the right. I went back with paint but it was a bit too dark and when I tried to lift the paint I damaged the paper surface, leaving it rough and ragged *sigh*. No amount of careful scraping with a razor blade would restore a smooth surface. So I let it dry and carefully added a wash of color, but to no avail. Though it doesn't look bad in the photo in reality when you see this piece you notice the damage to the surface of the paper and it detracts from the rest of the piece. And that's the hard thing with watercolor! After working on a painting and bringing it nearly to completion you go back to make a minor correction or change that's supposed to improve the painting and you end up ruining the whole thing! Which my explain why many watercolorists "quit while their ahead", and leave their paintings thin and pale. Continuing to work and develop the piece can be risky, but probably worth the effort, if you can stand the frustration!!
Posted by Jan Blencowe at 8:39 AM