Dramatic Skies and Granulated Washes

Evening Clouds (Watercolour)

Evening Clouds (Watercolour)

The ex-Committee of Project Gallery have been invited to exhibit beside the new Committee at the end of January… and today I suddenly realised that is effectively only about 10 days away! Shock, horror! I have nothing to show! So I’ve been looking for inspiration this afternoon and playing with some washes…

The title of the show is Transitions, to indicate the change of Committees… but I wondered whether I could find a subject that would fit the title too. After looking at seasons and deciding it would be too hard for such a tight deadline, I moved on to thinking about weather changes, or maybe time … and with some dramatic skies to illustrate the idea.

First trial wash today is the beginning of a sunset with rolling clouds – I think this is going to take some building up to get the richness, and I really would like some soft but heavily granulated effects. I haven’t managed this so far and think I’ll to have to do some research into which pigments (in the brown/pink spectrum) will allow me to achieve this.

You might notice I’m also using that awful paper still as well. If you enlarge the picture you can see how the brown in the lower right corner has soaked in to the paper unevenly and produced some quite pronounced patterns.

Day 341: Summer of Love, Finally Framed

Summer of Love (Watercolour)

Summer of Love (Watercolour)

It’s finished, and in a frame :-). I’ve cheated a bit with the photo shown here because the glass was causing such bad reflections that I took the photo with only the mount and added a black border in Photoshop, and what a difference that border makes!

I’ll be heading down to Wollongong tomorrow morning to help the other volunteers hang the exhibition, which opens on Wednesday. I’m quite excited, it’s something I’ve never done before so I’m hoping to learn a few tricks of the trade. I’m also looking forward to seeing everyone’s work too and how they’ve interpreted the theme “Summer of Love” – and I’ll have to think of a proper title for mine now too, it can’t just have the theme as a title… any ideas???

Day 340: Summer of Love, Pt. 5

Summer of Love (Watercolour)

Summer of Love (Watercolour)

So, as we get closer to the end of this process the changes I’ve made are becoming less obvious… I hope I’m not boring everyone too much, I promise it will be all over by tomorrow – because if it’s not finished by then it will not be included in the member’s show that I’m aiming for.

As I add a bit here and there I’m finding I am happier with the overall effect, although I still think the clouds are overworked and wish I’d left more white paper. The Egret on the right is pretty much finished now, I think. There’s just a touch more shading needed on the wings of the left hand Egret, and then it’s down to some finishing touches of detail in the foreground and maybe also in the trees.

I also stretched some more paper this afternoon with the intention of starting a new piece, maybe I’ll find an hour to try that out. However, I’m thinking that realistically there would be too much to finish in a single day to get it ready for the show. Stranger things have happened though, so we’ll see how it goes – maybe I’ve just prepped it ready for my next masterpiece ;-).

Day 339: Summer of Love, the Love Birds

Summer of Love (Watercolour)

Summer of Love (Watercolour)

I forgot to mention yesterday that the masking has now been removed, but being very bright sparks I’m sure you all noticed :-). I was pleased to see that the paper seems to have survived the process, even though it was applied when the weather was really hot, and today’s session has confirmed that. I’ve begun to gently add some shading to the places on the Egrets that I think would be in shade and it’s going on very nicely.

Over the preparation and first few days of application I’ve gone through lots of stages of liking and disliking this painting… I’m not sure which side I am today, apart from relived that the feathers might work well… I do think it’s beginning to look awfully cheesy though, and I can’t help thinking of those old fashioned paintings of ducks flying at sunset! 😀

Day 338: Summer of Love, Pt. 3

Summer of Love (Watercolour)

Summer of Love (Watercolour)

I always find it amazing how much better paintings look on the computer screen… the colours glow and, perhaps because they’re smaller and more remote from the viewer, it’s easier to overlook all the things that are bugging me in the real thing.

I have pretty much decided to start this one again because I’ve overworked the clouds and the line of trees, but they don’t look so bad here. I was also hoping for a much looser overall effect – which I know I will never get if I use masking fluid to save the white space, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have painted that sky behind the birds without losing them in red and blue.

I’m going to keep working on this one as it’s a great way to work out the challenges –  such as: my reference photo has the light coming from the left, so I’m going to have to imagine how the birds should look lit from behind… but I think I just might try loosely splashing a new background tomorrow and see where it takes me ;-).