Monday, February 15, 2010

how do they do it?

(7x11)

Have you ever seen those watercolor paintings where a setting (or rising) sun obliterates the edges of things on the horizon and leaves only a dazzling light behind?
How do watercolorists achieve that gorgeous effect?
I think I've maybe done it once or twice accidentally (note to self: pay more attention to accidents!); here I tried for it, but missed.
I painted the horizon with the colors of the sky and kept some edges soft, but the effect looks clunky. Also, the reflections in the water aren't dark enough ... so perhaps I'll think of this as the underpainting.

By the way, if you'd like to find out more about contrapposto--a term I remembered from way back when I started college as an art history major!--Wikipedia has a good article on it, which begins with this definition: "Contrapposto is an Italian term used in the visual arts to describe a human figure standing with most of its weight on one foot so that its shoulders and arms twist off-axis from the hips and legs. This gives the figure a more dynamic, or alternatively relaxed appearance. It can also encompass the tension as a figure changes from resting on a given leg to walking or running upon it (so-called ponderation). Contrapposto is less emphasized than the more sinuous S Curve."

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6 comments:

Gillian said...

Whether you missed the effect or not it's still a dazzling painting. You remind me of myself, forever worrying about stuff that goes wrong rather than seeing the things that actually work!

laura said...

Touche, Gillian. What is wrong with us? :-)

AutumnLeaves said...

Thank you so much for that definition, Laura. (I needed it! I'd forgotten the word when I was ready to look it up and didn't take the time to come back for it! DOH!) I love the watercolor too and wish I could see whatever effect you think you missed. I may not have seen it before...(I'm really not being smart, just stupid on occasion! LOL)

A Brush with Color said...

It's wonderful! It must not meet what your mind's eye envisioned, but since I don't have that vision, it's gorgeous to me! As always, glorious color, Laura. I love your sp on the sidebar, too! (Enjoyed our "chat" today)

Cathy Gatland said...

I join the chorus that says this is glorious! Beautiful glowing colours and sun, I love how they sometimes break through the hard lines and bleed into the next layer

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I actually love this.

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