Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Painting Up A Storm

"Who Is Watching Who?"
Colourful Cockerel appearing from a vibrant first wash with detail added in sections.

I had to smile yesterday. As much as I tried last week a cockerel painting appeared in all of my workshops apart from the day which was purely for painting flowers. But even then I think we may have looked at my  cards of them.They seem to get everywhere in a way that I feel they are almost taking over my art life and studio. I have been approached and asked for a very special painting of a cockerel that will help raise funds for a  wonderful charity so my next painting has to include far more than  exciting colour and brushstrokes. It has to appeal to bidders in an auction and somehow has to hold  that special magic we all aim for but only come across in a few pieces. I also need two new cockerels for a special exhibition and so I have several washes on the go from yesterdays art session.

My work is evolving and becoming more complex. Where once a smooth first wash would give me satisfaction it does not anymore. Texture effects aren't pleasing me either. Artists who came to my workshops last week will know I used salt and we looked at other texture techniques but to be honest with just a brush and colour so much can be achieved without resorting to playing with  "gimmicks" as I once heard them referred to by a "purist" in watercolour. I think I am a purist but didn't realise it until now. Or maybe I am just going through a purist stage in my art life!

Even so if you look at the close up of this eye with no ise of salt, masking fluid or placement of  cling film I find it quite pleasing in variation of depth and light. The highlight in the eye is there purely from working away from it and I far prefer this to the use of gouache at the final stage.Its softer and more realistic.

Eye Close Up with no use of masking fluid or gouache, just  pigment and water.

I think we all as artists are travelling with an endless search for that magical way of achieving a painting that appeals to everyone. That makes viewers of our finished piece say " Wow" and admire how we created it. Along the way now and then we may like individual paintings we create but inside us we all know we can do better next time. It's that journey of learning that makes our lives so fascinating and to be honest, I never want to feel as though I have learned it all. And I know I never will!


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