Thursday, May 20

Art Lesson of the Day: Do Not Hurry!

Bluebonnet Fields Forever
Watercolor on Paper
Copyright 2010


I’ve been really busy on my current watercolor this week. However, I decided I was getting a little bored with it and ready to move on to something else.

Problem is, I was taught that you can never ever abandon a painting—you must finish it. I guess I internalized that pretty well as I felt compelled to bring it to a close. So I did. I painted all day, well six hours straight-- which is all day for me anyway--for two days in a row.

Then my painting was critiqued. Of course, it needed more tweaking (as usual). By now, I'm really ready for the thing to be finished. So I worked another whole day (OK, four hours) to complete it.

If you recall in one of my previous blogs, I told you that you'll know a painting is finished when you are afraid to add even one more brush stroke in fear of ruining the whole thing. Too bad I didn’t follow my own advice, which I was thinking about even as I proceeded to paint.

I needed to create more depth in the painting by softening the edges of the leaves in the trees on the horizon. This being watercolor, it only takes an instant—a split second—for darker colors to bleed. And the dark green of the silhouetted tree did bleed.

“Oh, nooo,” I said under my breath. Actually , I said something else, but I won’t repeat it.

Luckily, I was able to fix it by adding some new tree branches. Whew.

I was also critiqued to add some violet to the foreground to warm it up and bring it closer to the viewer. Now, as an artist, you know there are a whole range of violets, that is, reds + blues. They go from almost crimson to deep, dark purple. The one I mixed was kind of a grayish-purplish color. It was OK, I thought, since I was using it to paint the ground.

Long story short, after the paint dried, there were purples spots on the ground as if it were radioactive or something. Yikes!

Remember, watercolor dries up to 25 percent lighter (and brighter). Fortunately, I was able to neutralize them by adding a green wash. I know my color wheel.

Today's blog is a reminder: DO NOT be in a hurry to finish your painting. By the way, I hope you like the painting, which is today’s image.

Until next blog…

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