All this painting and my blog is so quiet! I've been getting impatient to post something but most of it is just experimenting or just plain rubbish! There are many faults with this but it is, at least, not as embarrassing as most of my efforts. As a bonus it meets EDM #62, which is to do a previous challenge again in a different medium. I did a bunch of bananas before. Reading that post now, it's ironic that I should have chosen that particular challenge again, my thoughts on using other media are quite different now. Using watercolours presents it's own challenge and I look at my subjects quite differently but I don't think now that I see any less.
Here I was trying to keep everything very loose, although that pencil line on the left and the distance between it and the paint looks too regular to my eye. I was attempting to mix on the paper and not the palette as I think colours looks so much more vibrant that way, but that takes much more experience than I have right now, to get that right. It's very much hit and miss so I wouldn't attempt a more complicated subject or grouping until I have more control.
I drew the pear four times and this one, the first, was the best. The others, that I thought would be better, got overworked!
My Winsor & Newton paints, looking quite neat and clean for the photo! A lady at the watercolour class had her colours laid out on paper like this which I thought was a good idea. Her palette was much larger and her paper was in clear plastic taped onto the box. I have two more pans now so I'll have to rearrange and make a new one. Also, the brushes I'm using. I like the mop brushes and used the small one quite a bit but now I'm using the smaller ones more often, especially the No.7, far right. Unfortunately, last week, I had a trouble getting anything decent on paper and was so cross with myself I just got up and left everything. I found my lovely paintbrush in the water the next morning with the paint cracked. Dang. That will teach me to be temperamental!
Looking at that paper reminds me of a game where you have to guess the co-ordinates of some battle ships, but if you get it wrong you could get blown up by the mines. That yellow, second from left (Cadmium Yellow Pale) and the fourth red (Permenant Carmine) are the mines! Ready to explode on the paper and take out everything else if I'm not careful. The next reds and yellows I get, I'll take those out and replace them with something friendlier. I have Winsor Violet too, which is a gorgeous colour but very intense and needs careful handling although I feel 'ready' for it, being an unusual one, whereas the red and yellow can easily catch me out amongst the others!
Annabel asked about the watercolour class. It's not really a structured class so it's difficult to say. To practice techniques we copy pictures of other watercolours which sounds very dull, I suppose, but for my level it's fine and with her guidance I feel I'm learning quite a bit. Trying to match colours, getting effects like wet on wet and controlled washes have been really interesting. Matching colours hasn't been as difficult as I thought it might be but getting the water to pigment ratio right is quite a challenge. Getting the colours to look vibrant and not overmixed is something I'm concentrating on. Charles Reid says to let some of the original colour show in the mix which I think is very good advice but experience is needed to control the 'accident'! The most useful thing I found out is that watercolours are much more manageable than I expected, there are many ways to manipulate it and correct mistakes, it's not totally unforgiving. The teacher is a lovely lady who makes it all seem easy and fun - not something rigid with rules set in stone! 'Oh, don't worry, we can cheat!' or don't worry, I can show you a great way to correct that', she says with a twinkle in her eye, and she comes out with a mine of information!
I've started going to her Monday class too, at her shop. She has an antique linen store with a beautiful little open courtyard at the back. Three of us sat at a table in the shop with some soft jazz in the background and it was a lovely experience. The Wednesday class is at the boys' school, in a really beautiful setting and lovely old buildings but the class itself is held in the 'art shed'. There's usually a class going on next door and it's fun to see what they are doing and hear the kids banter. They have music in the background too but it's usually rap or something that reminds me of how out of touch I am! Everything will finish at the end of June but there may be workshops in the summer and a new class in September.