Note: I’ve been extremely disappointed with WordPress Premium and decided not to renew it. It ends today, and I’m not sure when I’ll get the chance to go online, so I apologize for any wonkiness on my blog that occurs before I get the chance to clean things up.
I get the occasional insomnia, and sometimes I do artwork because it helps stop my brain from firing on all pistons. The results are often peculiar.
Finding a page in my Cappuccino book that I had started drawing on, and abandoned, I covered it with gouache. The little that showed through suggested buildings, but cast shadows that didn’t go in the right direction.
I decided to just go with it. It’s peculiar, but who cares at 2:00 am?
The steps were pretty much the same, though I used Lemon Yellow for my first wash, Burnt Sienna and Ponceau (Acid Red) for my mid-tones and purple for my shadows (the purples are vibrant in the original, but the scan shows them as more so).
With the hummingbird, I was playing with gouache’s opacity and trying to get the flat, velvety look. For this camel, I kept my colors more transparent by using more water. The purple is the only color that I applied opaquely.
I also played with lifting color. The Cézanne cold press is a very robust paper so I could lift and add more color several times. This can lead to muddy colors, but it can also give your work a subtle light effect and add texture by showing particles of the color beneath.
The gouache lifted easily. This is in part due to the paper, but I found that even the most intense colors lifted more than I would have expected.
I almost never throw away any of my drawings or paintings, even if I hate them. This painting is an example why.
As I recall, I was at the coast when I painted this – can’t remember where or what paper or paint I used. What I do remember is that I felt it sucked. I really disliked it.
Recently, I was going through some old work, looking for something else entirely, and found this. And I thought “Hmmmm. Not half bad.” Not a ringing endorsement, and I still don’t think it’s one of my best. But it’s not half bad, which is a long way from the ‘sucks’ I originally felt.
I doubt it will go up further in my estimation, but I’ll keep it to remind myself – again – that my first reaction to a painting isn’t always valid. Some works just need time to grow on you.