Monday, June 28

When to Give Up on a Painting

If You Paint A Lemon, Give Up

I just threw away the watercolor painting I have worked on for several days. Actually, I put it in the paper re-cycle bin so it won’t be a total loss.

Today's image represents the "lemon" of a painting I just threw away.

How did I know it was time to throw in the proverbial towel, and why did I do that? I don’t usually give up. But I did on this one. For one thing, in my experience when a watercolor goes wrong, there is very little one can do to save it. Many of the colors could be lifted, but not all of them, especially indigo—no, it can’t be removed.

I thought I would like the motif, which was from a reference photo taken on a cold, rainy day. I deliberately waited until the summer to paint it, thinking it would be nice to work on a cool theme during the summer heat. It didn't matter.

In the photo, people with umbrellas and coats are crossing a street in the rain. It’s a little out of focus, so I thought that would add to the soft mood of the painting.

I think the problem was that I was haphazard. My heart wasn’t really in it, and my mind wandered. I used too much water to begin with, so there were blooms all over the place. Then the paper warped, and that made it difficult to apply the paint evenly because it rolled down into puddles. Oh, I could have flattened it out, but I didn't feel like bothering with that.

There’s no moral to this story, other than that you have to really concentrate when you’re painting with watercolor, more so, I think, than with other mediums.

However, I have just decided to give it another go—this time with acrylic. I’ll let you know.

Until next blog…

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