failure 13 feature

Watercolor Failure 13

topdogArt and Design

Watercolor camp continues this week.

I don't have a lot to say except my failures are starting to look better. Not good. Just better than before.

That's progress.

There are quite a few things I need to work on, among them:

  • Don't be afraid of color. I tend to wimp out on color saturation on the early washes. I need to be bolder.
  • Save the details. I tend to overwork the details way too soon. Gotta hold off almost to the end.
  • Learn to mask better. I'm experimenting with masking fluid to preserve some of the whites of the paper. I need to get better at laying it down.
  • Every book and bit of instruction repeats the same thing: Make your colors stronger than you think because they lighten when they dry. I think I hate this rule most of all, because I lay down the color I want and ALWAYS forget about the lighter dry-back. As a result I usually have to go back in with a stronger wash after the first one dries, which results in an over-worked and occasionally muddy surface.
  • Mix enough paint the first time. I'm too stingy when mixing colors and I never make enough, so I'm constantly going back and trying to match the previous color mix, which is impossible. This further muddies the colors.

There's more, but I'll leave it there.

Here's my latest, Failure #13. It's flaws are just about everything on the list above.

watercolor failure

That stupid little tree should have been deleted early. You can see I resorted to opaque gouache as a last resort to cover my overworked watercolors. Those foreground bushes are a mess of bad masking fluid. The blue sky doesn't work very well with the overall painting (should be lighter and maybe a little more turquoise). The rock formation isn't sharp enough – too much re-working has destroyed the crisp edges. And don't get me started on the weird foreground (what the hell was I thinking?).

I could go on and on, but it's done. I'll toss it in the drawer and begin a new one tomorrow.

Blogging may be light while I'm in watercolor camp. I get very focused on the project and it's hard to think about writing.