Monday, March 03, 2008


I'm taking a watercolor class on Monday afternoons, 2-4 p.m. (wish it was an hour longer!), with a very good painter, Marie Natale. Here's today's (unfinished) painting; this is about an hour's worth of painting. What this painting lacks in subtlety I guess it makes up for in color; I think it may be the only thing I ever painted that looks better the farther away from it you get. I was trying to paint as Marie suggests: with a 75-25 ratio of paint to water; using a triad; applying the paint directly then overlapping or pushing different colors together on the paper; and painting on paper that is very nearly upright. It does make for luminous color ... Will probably try this again with more thought about the shapes in the background and lighter tones in the orchids.
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Mineke Reinders said...

Wow! Only an hour? It's gorgeous! I especially love the soft shading on the petals, in contrast to the deeper background colors, I think that's what makes the flowers seem illuminated. Interesting note on the technique, too. I learned a similar technique ages ago that you might like as well. You wet an area of the paper with clear water or a pale color (just so you can see better where you applied it), then dip your brush into a color straight from the tube - no water added! - and touch it on the wet area. Then do the same with another color, as many as you want, let them blend together without mixing. It can be really exciting to see what happens when you do this, and surprisingly easy to control. Obviously, this only works when you want strong color, not for subtle shades. Try it on a scrap piece of paper and see what you think :)

laura said...

I always joke that I paint fast because I don't stop to think (although it's really more the truth than a joke); one thing I want to do is be more deliberate, but without losing whatever is gained by reacting ... I'll try your exercise: sounds like a good way to play with abstraction; something I always want to do but never actually do! Yes, it's surprisingly easy to move and lift the paint--as long as it's wet.

Melanie said...


this just catches me - i love it!

oh yes, and 'epiphany' is perfect. thank you!

William Evertson said...

Love the abstraction quality of this exercise. I'm always amazed at your instincts of color combinations. I have used Mineke's technique on plum blossoms to good success, although in shades of grey.

Suzanne McDermott said...

Hey, this is really nice! I'm thrilled that you're taking a weekly class. Thanks for the description - you, too, Mineke. Today and yesterday I was suddenly having the most difficult time with being hesitant (apparently) about laying down strong color. So this is very helpful. Looks great.

laura said...

Everyone should check Melanie's blog and see her beautiful spring blossoms! I'm glad you like the title I suggested ... funny how it just sort of appeared!
Bill--I love love love shades of gray; there are so many beautiful grays. Hockeney had a gorgeous all gray watercolor and I saw an all gray, with black streetlamps!, snowscene in a flea market that was stunning. I should try to do a painting os grays; well, I have tried before, but I seem unable to make gray!
Hi Suzanne. I like your recent, soft paintings ... maybe they're evoking (conjuring?) spring. I really enjoy taking classes, though there aren't many available where I live. I work at home, so it gets me out and meeting people for one, but it's always so inspiring to see what the other students do. I guess this blogging network does the same; so glad I ventured into it!

William Evertson said...

Laura - your link to mineke doesn't work for me anymore. Is it just me?