I was teaching a workshop last week at the wonderful Waterloo Watercolor group in Austin, TX. After the workshop was done at the end of the week, I was lucky enough to have had the chance to paint in this great city.
I was joined by a few artist colleges and we headed out to paint scenes by the lake and downtown. Naturally, after the weather was sunny all week the day we went outside turned out to be a bit dull and drab. Earlier in the morning the light was much better and my scene with a rower and downtown Austin in the background turned out pretty nice.
Austin is a great city and everyone at the WWC group did their best to make me feel welcome. I’d like to especially thank Michele and Marshal Missner, Eileen Pestorius, Kim and Gerry Hoerster, Anne and Barbara and Chuck Wallace for taking care of me in the best possible way. You all rock!
One of the goals in my work is to always maintain good control of edges. I like to see all conceivable edges in my watercolors, not just wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry.
I get to see a lot of work from watercolor painters and many people only have control of the two, most aren’t even aware that there are more!
The most elusive edge is probably the one that gives you fuzzy, controlled soft edges that stay in place and don’t cause disasters. It takes a lot of practice and patience. A common mistake is to carry too much water on the brush.
The other issue for me is subtlety in color use. I like color but I don’t like screaming color! That’s just me.
Everything is either warm or cool in temperature and can be manipulated either warmer or cooler as the need arises. It is much better to think in those terms as oppose to constantly asking what color do I mix, what blue, what red…in the end there are only three, so it’s a futile exercise to do so! It just doesn’t help.
(click on thumbnail to view larger version)
I’d like to post this painting of a pond. It is completely made up, although I did have references for the water. This painting is more difficult than it looks. One of the reasons is the fact that most of the values are pretty close on a value scale. No stark positives and negatives or dramatic shadows, even the sky is quite dark, comparatively speaking. But take a look at the edges, from super soft to super hard and everything in-between, is definitely there!