Tuesday 28 February 2012

West Highland White Terrier in Watercolor

West Highland White Terrier in Watercolour
Work in Progress

I recently posted a wash  that would later develop into a subject and here is how the next stage of colour placement has progressed.  

As I work minus the use of a preliminary sketch I have no set guidelines as to where facial features should be placed when painting a pet portrait. I rely solely on colour and brushmarks to give me a sense of my subjects definition. Gradually as my watercolours develop I can feel them coming to life.

There comes a point in every painting where I feel far more than just a creation in front of my eyes. In this piece there is a connection and wonderful emotion of being able to understand the characteristics of a particular breed. For example,the shiny eye half hidden with hair, the button nose. The pose of a head inclined, waiting for a walk or treat. Something is happening with each new brushmark that gives me the information as to where to move my brush or add colour next.

By painting this dog by adding touches each day rather than racing to vomplete it in one session I can allow the painting to tell me what it needs and as the artist i am listening.

On my workshops I meet so many artists of all levels who race their work, In their quest to quickly complete a painting they miss all the joy of what is happening in the journey of its development. Sometimes,yes, a painting works so well that you don't want to put your brushes down. But at other times something gorgeous happens and you know instinctively to continue working could ruin the piece or miss something magical that you could see with fresh eyes the next day. These are valuable moments when stopping during the process of painting is a wiser move.

My goal is to paint watercolours that are unique, sing with life and hold a magic that could be defined by either a sense of action, feeling of life or carry an emotion.

This subject is emotive. As such it is treated with feeling and passion while I work.

When this is complete I hope the viewer will read that the artist knew the breed, loved what they were painting and achieved far more than just a "pretty" watercolour.

It is aimed to be a painting that touches the emotions in dog lovers hearts or specific owners of the breed. In a way that only they can understand.

A hard task but one I love having as a goal whenever I work with pets as a subject.


Artist Tip: Don't always race to finish  a painting in one day or painting session. You can learn far more from studying it as a work in progress. By completing a painting that you may ruin from racing to finish could lose you the masterpiece you might have achieved by being pateint and waiting. 

Techinuqes take time to learn,take that time and use it wisely when a work is in progress.


1 comment:

Kellie Chasse said...

Wonderful advice - As I was reading this I was thinking back to some of my own favorite pieces that I painted. They are the paintings that developed slowly. I shall do more of this :)