Tuesday, September 2

Try Watercolors

Today’s Image

In the Studio

I don’think I mentioned I found watercolors on sale at one of the local art supply stores. These are Daler-Rowney Artists’ watercolors in tubes. Most, but not all, of the traditional basic colors you need—Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cobalt Blue, Alizarin Crimson, and Raw Sienna along with Permanent Red, Prussian Blue, Naples Yellow, Sap Green, and Titanium White—were the only ones they had. Since I had time over the long US Labor Day weekend, I decided to try them out with a simple painting of a sliced lemon. It's Today’s Image.

Change is Good

I thought I would make a few remarks about change, seeing as how we’re into September now and the seasons are due for a change soon. It’s a good time to step back, so to speak, and take a look at what you’ve accomplished and what your next goal is for your artistic endeavors.

I tend to start out with a fairly loose 'plan' of what medium I want to try next, or which one I need to work on more, so that I feel I’ve achieved some measure of success at least in my own mind. My planning over the last year looked something like this, with each phase lasting about three to four months:

  • Phase I - complete my getting-started-again phase and renew sketching skills
  • Phase II - try out traditional pastels and learn to use them to achieve a pleasing result
  • Phase III - explore acrylics and determine if it’s a medium I would enjoy

Looking back, here’s what really happened:

  • My getting-started-again phase lasted about six weeks before I got a little tired with graphite and charcoal sketching and wanted to move on from Phase I
  • Pastels were and are challenging-- both a good and bad thing; a good challenge to test your skills but difficult to learn well in a short period of time, so Phase II was truncated
  • Acrylics turn out to be most favored medium and which I have been working on since the beginning of the year (with oils thrown in for a period of time)

Planning is good, but you have to be open to change and go in the direction in which you’re most comfortable. For example, I also spent a month with oil paints, which was totally unplanned. I discovered I liked painting with oils and that I want to spend more time with them, just not right now.

Anyhow, at this juncture, my 'plan' for the rest of the year is to alternate acrylic painting with improving my skills with pastel, and I’m pretty sure I’ll try an oil painting as the season begins to change.

I did enjoy the watercolor though. I suppose I'll just go with the flow and keep my 'plan' in the background somewhere for reference now and again.


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