Last week, I worked on some new pieces and all of them were landscapes. A complete change of scene from the abstracts that I had been doing since the start of the month. Slightly more involved and larger in scale, I enjoyed the process thoroughly!
When I first started painting, many many years back, landscapes were my favorite subject to paint, and back then I would primarily do oils, reserving my watercolors to quickly sketch in my journal. In other words, my watercolor journey up until then had been a disaster! It had been lacking on so many different levels that it's hard to even describe them.
I dabbled in oils for almost 12 years before I decided to switch to watercolors. I still remember the transition...I had purchased some awesome artist's quality watercolors and had gotten my new mop brush too wet by mistake. It was soaking wet and since it was my first time using a squirrel mop, I had been unable to judge the strength of pigment and water. The very first brushstroke I made on damp paper made me gasp with delight!
As I saw the rich blue french ultramarine disperse and bloom, I knew this was it..this is what I had been looking for in my watercolor paintings and had failed to achieve until that moment.The beautiful granulation from that one single brushstroke had changed my perspective about watercolors. Never knew what it was capable of until that moment!
I stepped back and began to wonder, what I had done differently that had led to this life changing moment!
..yes! That was what it was..the use of so much water which I had thought to be a mistake was in reality the way to go when painting with watercolors. The only way to move the pigment and achieve that soft dreamy look was to keep your paintings moist. Once they dry, they are done! Moisten them and they come alive! The fact that my colors were of a better quality definitely added to it, but I had seen artist's work wonders with plain old children's paints. Until then I had assumed that painting with watercolors was reserved for a select few and I was not one of them!
Being a self taught artist, I have learned a lot along the way, simply through trial and error. I have had plenty of happy accidents and I would long to paint with more confidence and predictability. And that I guess comes through practice...nothing can take the place of practicing every single day. Paint ..paint and paint some more!
The reason for the short story above, is because after I shared this particular piece on social media, I received multiple messages asking about the colors used, the brand, and of course people wondering when they could paint this way. Some very kindly and graciously said that the piece reminded them of artists who according to me are masters and as grateful as I am for all those kind, generous and encouraging comments I would not even dare mention those master artists here because to take their name in the same breath as mine would not do justice to them . They are a league apart, I am still a learner and in all probability will perhaps remain there.
When I read those comments, I smiled to myself and felt humbled yet wondered if they were really talking about my piece of work!
I, who did not know how to paint with this medium and struggled everyday to get the right proportions of water and pigment, learned with great difficulty on how to get my thoughts down quickly enough before the paper dried on me! I have miles to go before I can even approach a gallery to show my work and that means, I have lots to learn ..so let's do it together!
Join us on our Facebook group..it's a fun and encouraging place to be and of course, every day we have lots of people sharing their work, so there is no dearth for inspiration!
Stop by Doodlewash for all the details.
Will be back with the other two pieces later in the week.Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!