Another go at this with a different composition and more muted colors.
Another Portsmouth, NH painting. Enjoyed doing this one and it is a bit of a departure for me. Not quite sure what to make of it yet but I hope I don’t hate it tomorrow as I’ve just entered it into the Newton Watercolor Society annual show.
Edit: Took another look at this piece this morning and am happy with it. The photo doesn’t really do it justice. It’ll do.
Two versions of the March wetcanvas watercolor challenge. And boy was it a challenge. One step forward and then two back.
Two tries today. Both of the Boston skyline. The intention was to keep the colors muted and the values subtle. Not too much detail but enough to suggest buildings. The first one above was definitely the most successful but even this one suffered from some bad brushwork in the water. Nice in parts though.
Here’s the second:
Bit of a departure in subject matter here but I’ve learned you just have to go with your gut on these things. Very enjoyable and a great combination of subjects.
This was an ambitious one for me but has a lot of good stuff in it. We were visiting our friends Mark and Geneen and Geneen mentioned that the pond up the road was beautiful and I might like to take a look at it for a painting. She was definitely right and frankly I haven't managed to do it justice here. The reflections on the water are magical and we managed to catch a heron perching on the large rock in the evening sun.
A couple of intermediates :
The initial washes.
Almost there here. Especially pleased with the foliage.
Time to do something different after all the flowers. This is from a photo by Bonnie Sitter on PaintMyPhoto. I rooted around and found my Sterling Edwards brushes which are great for this kind of painting. They're bristle and flat and good for working wet into wet. At the end I hesitated about putting in the duck as I though it might be too twee but I think I got away with it.
Day 9 already!! How did that happen?
Again this was a toughie. No one can say I'm shying away from the hard stuff this time. This was a real struggle but I think I managed to simplify enough in the right places to pull it off.
Steps below :
The drawing. I always feel happy at this point which is a good sign because if the drawing is off then you have no hope of pulling the painting off.
Started in the John Yardley way from farthest away. Was not very confident at this point. I didn't know whether the values were going to hang together - too light, too dark, not enough merging.
This was the point where things started to get better. Putting the darks on the left hand side made a big difference and I was getting a little brush happy which made for better brushmarks. The water reflections tied everything down and I could see the finish line.
The final thing. By the last ten minutes I'd got the hang of the architectural detail in the white basilica. Everything you read about painting says things like 'less is more' 'it's what you leave out that's important' or 'indicate, don't state'. But boy is it hard to put it into practice.
This was a struggle - but worth it.
Oh - and here's the reference photo (yes I know I should get out and paint outside).
Time for a boat I thought this morning. I've had both successes and stinkers with boats but when they work they're great fun to do.
I started with the drawing and didn't measure properly (bad Michele) so my boat came out a little small on the paper. We'll have to do something with the water I thought boldy. Never mind that I've painted water about twice previously.
I also added in some land at the horizon for interest.
Starting in with the painting I went straight for the boat. Both with drawing and painting I find the best path is to do the bit that interests you the most first. No saving things for last here.
I was still fairly happy at this point. Nothing is stated too definitely - especially the gubbins that seems to be in the back of all boats - and I was feeling good. Next step was the scary part - the water!
Well! I surprised even myself at this point as I think the water came out pretty well. Putting the waves in was kind of hit and miss but I was onto the final straight now and it was all systems go.
And here he is with the background and ropes and stuff quickly put in. The horizon is actually straight - I just didn't have the editing tool handy. Pretty happy with this although sometimes when I leave paintings on display for a few days I go off them. We'll see.