Monday, 16 January 2012

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, isn't it?

I'm not really into the idea of New Year's resolutions, as I've been stranded by mid January so many times. But this year I made a vow to do at least one painting a day, however small, with the declared aim of really learning how to paint watercolours. And I'm more or less on schedule, hampered only by a very nasty cold for the first 10 days of the year. I was also visiting friends, so limited to small attempts at night on my bedside table. The small attempts continue apace as I try to build up some kind of technique back home before tackling anything ambitious.
The ideas are usually from old photos, but I took a lovely shot of some gorgeous dwarf tulips on my window ledge this morning and they are crying out to be painted.

I am consulting some available demos, but really prefer to use my own photos. It's difficult to concentrate on painting if one is struggling to remember what something looks like and if I ever want to be able to work in this medium with a modicum of expertise, I really need to look at what the experts do, so demos are a must.
The current subjects are flowers, but I am going do some landscapes soon.
It isn't that I've never painted with watercolours, it's just that their success has been purely accidental and subject to my momentary reluctance to rip them up. These are not the happy accidents painters talk about. My "accidents" are usually precursory to scrapping the attempts and a successful accident is one I haven't actively prevented! 
Below are a few of the first attempts. Some of them could be continued, but I'm not carrying paintings over to the next day. A fresh start gives me a chance to review my previous errors!

These sunnies are enhanced with gel pens.

This buttercup flower is from a demo in a book, but I didn't follow the instructions very closely. Next time I'll frisket the centre out first. That was not required of the demo. Was the instructor cheating?

This sunflower painting is based on a really ancient photo taken with my first digital camera which had very few pixels compared with later generations. The photo was really too indistinct, but suited the purpose. The splattering got a bit out of hand.

This rose was done in double quick time on my last evening in the UK before I packed my painting stuff away. I did so want to produce one decent attempt. I really enjoy painting without sketching first, but it's a risky business!

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