Saturday, July 10, 2010

Watercolour experiments - Poppy #1

I've been busy this week, not so much with work (everybody in South Dublin is on holidays, it seems), but that's given me more time to devote to watercolours in the evenings (I still can't start painting in the middle of the day - too many years of conditioning in ITP & IBM. Plus there is always something to do, like catching up on account-keeping).

I'm exploring a freer way of painting, without big washes and masking fluid, inspired by Shirley Trevena's style. I have two books by her, and I keep going back to them for ideas on colour and texture. I love the way her newer paintings are very abstract - although she can draw well and precisely, she is not obsessed with exact replicas of the subject in front of her. For me, that's the perfect excuse, as I'm not so good at drawing. Let's focus on my strengths instead!

So, this time, I kept my paint quite thick and gooey, and I applied it on dry paper, section by section. In places, it merged, but not too much (that's often one of my problems when my paint is too wet, everything starts blending together and all the shapes disappear). And I used painting knives to drag the paint to produce an interesting (I hope!) background. For the leaves at the top, I mixed Phthalo blue and lemon yellow, which gives a strong vibrant green. And then I dragged the paint with my Cheap Joes' colour shaper.

Here is attempt #1:

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