Friday, May 22, 2009

While I was painting this, I kept thinking of Charles Hawthorne's advice: Never try to repeat a success! Though this lady looks concave, and has a pinched expression on her face (funny how the tiniest shape can convey an expression!), there are things I like about it, particularly the hat.
Advice from Laura: Always paint people in hats.

Here I was applying the same method as yesterday, and when I thought it was finished, I was a bit disappointed--it seems (is?) "weaker" than yesterday's. But now I look again, and I think I can see that this is a bit of synthesis; this is just more "me."

Yesterday Jennifer asked what paper I use. Today's and yesterday's were done on scraps of Fabriano Uno I found in my closet. It's great paper--strong, "workable," which to me means you can lift and the paint seems to sit on the surface longer.
I don't think they make Uno anymore, so I've been using Fabriano Artistico.
The full sheets are great--the cold press is a little smoother than Arches.
Recently I bought a couple of packs of 10 11x14 sheets and I found that paper to be a bit more flimsy; it can't take too much water. Though Fabriano blocks--I have a small one (6x8 I think?)--works great and is very handy; an the CP surface is really nice.
I'm always trying different papers--Arches, Whatman, Winsor & Newton--always looking for that magic bullet!, and Fabriano suits me best. I do also like the Sennelier block, which come in small, odd sizes, and not at all, I think, in full sheets.

I'm always looking for a watercolor paper that has a "wove" surface, if you know what I mean (if I know what I mean). It's briefly described under "paper finishes" on Handprint: I like the uniform, linear pattern that shows through. I think Sargent used it for sketches ... I don't think it's made anymore; at least, I can't find it.

Thanks for asking, Jennifer. I should ask you what paper you use for your beautiful paintings. Your palm tree really appealed to me, and that was on paper you didn't like!!
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Natashia McEwan said...

good tip..."always paint people in hats"

I love your work and all of your helpful advice. I am glad to have found you here. I am a student of water colour, and need a lot of questions answered and you seem to know the ones I need to know, like paper quality and things of that nature...Have a Wonderful weekend Laura


Art with Liz said...

I'll remember that hat tip. Thanks. Absolutely love these two especially the one with the back turned towards us. Beautiful.

JoAnn said...

According to Cheap Joe's, Fabriano Artistico is just the new name for Uno. The website says "Fabriano Artistic Extra White watercolor paper is an Italian made fine art paper that is also known by its former name, Fabriano Uno."

Ruth said...

wow - she is fantastic from behind! her legs are perfect. i don't know how you to it.

Teresa said...

Hawthorne's advice aside, I think you successfully "repeated a success". Love this one... and the one below it. Both convey expression very well - and with so few strokes. Sigh.... not sure I'll ever be able to paint loose like that. I probably need to join Detail Freaks Anonymous.

A Brush with Color said...

Oh, I love your advice about the hats! Fabulous--"Note to self: always use hats in portraits of people." I think your work here is great--you sound as if you are very good at taking lessons and putting them into practice and really learning as you do. I love what I've seen of your work and always listen to what you say about workshops.

And on another note, I'm really loving your painting, Laura--it's just beautiful! Thanks again.

"JeanneG" said...

I really like the second one. And hats do make it easier than doing hair.

Jennifer Lawson said...

Two wonderful new paintings Laura. Great colors in the top one! Hats are great because you get to paint that wonderful shadow.

Thanks for the paper information. I'm fascinated by what art supplies people use, especially when it comes to this mysterious watercolor medium. The dreaded paper I use paper are square pads I bought at our local art store in Maine called Artist & Craftsman". They are their own brand called it's "hip to be square". Since I am a beginner this seemed like the best (expense-wise) choice for my daily paintings. It is really absorbent which is what makes me crazy, but I have learned to compensate. I drag little Moleskines around when we are out and about.

Thanks for the paper information you were so helpful. I'm off to order some for my Charles Reid workshop in Vermont next month.

Best always—Jennifer

dinahmow said...

Hats, eh? Hmm...must keep that in mind!
(I came here from Vivien's blog.)

Unknown said...

Really beautiful light and colors, Laura ! Love them.