Monday, February 18, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Winter Sky III

Winter Sky III watercolor on Arches 21x30

Crop of Winter Sky III
Hi all.
I absolutely love painting these poplar trees. Sorry, to all you birch lovers, but these are poplars, not birches. The weather has finally warmed up - freakishly warm actually, not that I'm complaining! - so I hope to get out to take some more pics. Need some new trees to paint.
The color was incredibely hard to adjust on these...I think because there are so many different hues and weird mixes... each time I got one right, another was wrong. So I decided to just STOP, and here they are. One cropped for that fascinating close up view.
In trying to make the colors work together and create a unified whole, I remembered Myrna's 'mothercolor', and mixed the colors making sure that each contained a bit of the 'mothercolor' this case, W&N Indian Red.
I also tried to keep in mind Edgar Whitney's rule about variety - variety in shape (white spaces), in direction (branches), value (which doesn't show up too well, but it's there), in size (branches), and texture (smooth vs rough). I may not have accomplished all that as well as I could, but at least I kept it in mind while painting, which is a big step forward on my part.
Has anyone read his book Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting? It's fantastic, and I just love the way he expresses himself. I love his passion, and he's definitely not shy about giving his opinions about art, and artists, and what he thinks they should be. Brilliant stuff.
Okay. That's about it. Not much goin' on. Work pays the bills. I have about 12 precut mats to fill up. So I'm gonna get painting...
Tell me a story. You know I love the company.


Nava said...

Love these trees - and a very nice touch with this one last red leaf that holds on to the branch. It almost makes me feel this anxiety I had when we went to Cirque Du Soleil, hope it doesn't fall down...

Haven't read this book. Yet.

Sandy Maudlin said...

I think the crop you did is exquisite. It's so in your face and dynamic that way. I like it a bunch.

Joan said...

The trees are beautiful even if they are peplars not birches. I love the compositon with that single red leaf. Lovely!

laura said...

This is gorgeous, Tracy! The one leaf is beautiful, hopeful somehow, how it hangs on (even though it'll eventually fall)--and I love where you placed it, so far to the left. I'm impressed with all the things you take into consideration as you work, about variety and the mothercolor (love that--have to try it!). Haven't read any Whitney, but seeing how you put his theory into practice, I will!

Tracy Wandling said...

Thanks Nava - Ya know, the great thing about art is that you can make up your own my story, the leaf never falls!

Thanks Sandy - Next on the drawing board is a 21x52" dynamic (I hope) in your face close up. Stay tuned!

Thanks Joan - The red leaf worked didn't it? I was afraid it would be a bit too trite...but I like it.

Thanks Laura - It is hard to think when you're painting...the words just don't come...but I am learning to step back more often, and to look at the list I made of things I want to remember. Maybe someday it will become automatic, but for now I reeeeaaalllly have to remind myself alot!

Happy Painting to all!

RHCarpenter said...

I really like your trees, Tracy. Do you just dab the colors on bit by bit until you come up with the mix that makes it look this way? I'm not sure I could do this - but I might give it a try. The red leaf worked perfectly!

Tracy Wandling said...

Thanks Rhonda! Glad you like the leaf too. As for my 'techinique', in my next post I was thinking of giving a more detailed explanation of how I do this. But, yeah, I pick a color scheme, mix a light base color to start, and just start dabbing away, going darker, adding pure colors here and there at the end. I'll do a step by step this weekend...good practise for the classes I get to teach!!!