Friday, September 02, 2016

Summer Project 1 - 3rd attempt

Happier with how my colours mixed this time, and getting some lovely watercoloury effects. But I need to figure out how to balance the composition better. Looking back to my initial watercolour sketch, I think I need to crop the bottom and left out. And looking at the initial sketch (done on site), I see I had added water effects on the water at the bottom right of the painting , so it wasn't this vast expanse of nothing. Which is what I've done now. I used fairly light colours and cling film to create the water swirls. And I'm happy with how that worked out.

But I feel the colours are too cold overall, not enough golden light, too much blue green, too much yellow. I don't even like yellow. And my reeds to the right look silly. And the red flowers, while they add a punch of colour, they don't work. I need to look at my colour wheel - what's the opposite of Blue-Green? Orange-Red. So that's probably where I went wrong, my red is too red red. And the opposite of Green-Yellow? Red-Purple - that's what I should have used for my shadows, rather than my grey mash-up of everything on my palette, with Paynes Grey. I don't even like Paynes Grey!
  • And of course, my composition is wrong: the centre of interest right bang in the middle
  • And I don't have enough value contrast (tonal contrast): I should have painted the tree trunk a lot darker beside the splash of yellow vegetation
Why does it take me so long to figure those things out? Because I start painting without thinking, without doing a thumbnail sketch to explore the composition and the values. That would have taken 10 minutes. Half an hour tops. Compared to the many hours wasted, without mentioning the emotional trauma of a failed painting!!

So I think that once I am done with this one (I don't think there will be a 4th attempt, you'll be relieved to hear), I'm going to stick to small paintings, maybe close-ups, or less ambitious projects.  And keep practising one thing until I get better at it! A vase with flowers would be good. The tree in front of our house. The sky outside the window. There are just too many challenges to tackle in these big projects! Until I get my mojo back at least!

PS: what do you think of the cropped version here?

And what about this one, where I've increased the shadows and warmified the colours and cropped some more?

Maybe I still have the energy to do this in real life?

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