If at first you don’t succeed….

When I started this blog I planned it as a sort of journal of my art journey, so I feel that I need remain true to that goal by reporting on some of the on-going trials and tribulations.

One of my current projects is a combination of the monthly challenge for PMP and a new painting for my “Painted Quotes” series (referred to here as PQ No. 2, more specific details to follow at some point in the future when I have a finished painting in hand!).

The PMP challenge is themed New Beginnings and requires the use of a limited palette of 3 primary colours: R, B & Y (with some leniency to use earth colours like Raw Sienna instead of Yellow!) , together with Black (usually an unmentionable in watercolour lingo) and White.

The painting from PMP that I chose as a reference for PQ No. 2 is of a sunrise, so it slotted perfectly into the New Beginnings theme.

This was my first attempt - before "new Beginnings" got involved. Indigo, Diox Violet, Aliz C and maybe another Red Hue. Sometimes the first one out of the starting blocks is the best of the lot....

1. PQ No. 2: This was my first attempt – before “New Beginnings” got involved.
Indigo, Diox Violet, Aliz C and maybe another Red Hue. Sometimes the first one out of the starting blocks is the best of the lot…. [Not enough care put into the trees. I guess I knew this would not be the final version!]

Combining the two concepts added a few extra challenges and decisions to make:

  • I had to drop some of the additional non-primary/more exotic colour combinations that I had considered using
  • Quin Magenta became my choice of R.
  • Choosing the blues – first tried Pthalo Blue…
2. First WashDecision to switch to Pthalo Blue and Quin Magenta. This one can still be developed further.

2. First Wash
Decision to switch to Pthalo Blue and Quin Magenta. This one can still be developed further. I haven’t given up on it yet.

  • …and then switched to Ultramarine Blue because it represented the cloud colour better. Bit worried about UB’s granulation properties – not sure that it is a good texture for the sky.
3. Still has potential. Smaller, less ambitious version of 2.

3. Still has potential.
Smaller, less ambitious version of 2.

  • I am still in two minds about whether to stick to the purist “only 3 primary colours) or to “cheat” by using Raw Sienna/Yellow Ochre/Quin Gold instead of a primary Y, because the earth colours look better in the sky washes. I knew I had to keep Y away from the B in the sky and get it to hang out with R so that it can result in a nice peachy colour. Timing is crucial here – if everything dries too quickly, the colours end up layered instead of blended.
4. Too Much Yellow. This Yellow doesn't work for me.  Quin Magenta, Ultramarine Blue & Trans Yellow.

4. Too Much Yellow.
This Yellow doesn’t work for me.
Quin Magenta, Ultramarine Blue & Trans Yellow.

  • In the midst of all this, I want to keep things loose and want to base the techniques on Jean Haines’ DVD Watercolour Passion, e.g. mixing colours on the paper, not in the palette; keeping things free flowing and loose, and doing something different! I have developed a bit of a rugged/stubborn/determined mindset of how I want to paint things.
5. Just not right. Don't like the way the watermarks have happened.  Quin Magenta, Ultramarine Blue & Trans Yellow.

5. Just not right.
Don’t like the way the watermarks have happened, but they might be able to be salvaged for another painting.
Quin Magenta, Ultramarine Blue & Trans Yellow.

  • As far as possible I want let the paint mix on the paper and paint without pre-drawing – part of this is laziness and the other is wanting to persevere to master certain techniques before I branch off in other directions and styles. Kind of a “let me tick this box first” approach. I am well aware that there is a problem with this method of learning: I might never move on to any other boxes! But I have to know that I didn’t give up.
6. Not working for me. Really don't like that yellow. Blue in top left too overpowering. Quin Magenta, Ultramarine Blue & maybe a different Yellow

6. Not working for me.
Really don’t like that yellow. Blue in top left too overpowering.Quin Magenta, Ultramarine Blue & maybe a different Yellow

[Aside – there are definitely some days when I wish I could be happy to settle for Paint-By-Numbers kits – so much less hassle, so few complications, no decisions to make, everything all planned and set out for you – but I know me – I would get bored after the first few brush strokes and be working out how I could rev things up a little to “do my own thing”]

7. Trying reflections. Painted the wash in two phases. Still need to add the mountains and the horizon in between. Not sure if it will work. Left out the Yellow.

7. Trying reflections.
Painted the wash in two phases. Still need to add the mountains and the horizon in between.
Not sure if it will work. No Yellow. QM & UB.

8. A possibility. Has some good points.

8. A possibility.
Has some good points. Could definitely put some more effort into this one! QM & UB

  • I started to toy with the idea of using black for the mountains that are in silhouette (watercolour rule rebellion)
9. Nearly there. Meets all the requirements of the PMP challenge, but I'm still looking for that extra "zing" factor!This one contains Black and it has become dull

9. Nearly there.
Meets all the requirements of the PMP challenge, but I’m still looking for that extra “zing” factor! I overworked the mountains and its’ too heavy. Sky came together nicely; colours in the water did not blend well.
This one contains Black and it has become dull

 

10. Most completedOnly problem is that has been overworked and I've lost that translucent factor.

10. Most completed
Only problem is that has been overworked and I’ve lost that translucent factor. Mountains are too Blue!

So the first 10 attempts – yes, 10! – are scattered throughout this blog post.

I tend to get a bit like a dog with a bone when I want to prove that I can do something; I just can’t let it go. One of the problems with this mentality is that I tend to repeat some of my mistakes because I “get stuck” in a certain way of thinking, so at least 3 or 4 of these versions would not have happened if I had paid more attention to my “learn from your mistakes before you move on to the next attempt” rule.

I still have a few variations that I need to work through and hopefully the final version will meet my expectations and can be presented here as a fait accompli.

…. a few days later….

I found No. 11 in my sketch book!

Love the blend on those mountains! Do I dare to add the trees to finish it off?

11. Sketchbook entry.
Love the blend on those mountains! Do I dare to add the trees to finish it off?

Added black for the mountains and trees and overlayed with colour. I like it, but don't think it is the final version.

12. Phase 2 of No. 7.
Experimented with adding a light wash of black for the mountains and trees and overlayed with colour. I like it, but don’t think it is the final version.

Thank you for watching….. and for your patience – hope you did not find this part of the journey too boring.

Watch this space…. I promise I’ll only post the the final, FINAL version!

Here’s to New Beginnings!

Advertisements

~ by tomorrowslices on January 12, 2013.

2 Responses to “If at first you don’t succeed….”

  1. […] for details about some of the background of this painting – you can read more about it here! FYI – This is the final version of No. […]

  2. 10 out of 10 for perserverence then Dawn!! You have got some fantastic skies going on here but maybe they were not all destined to be the scene you wanted and if you still have some washes left, come back to them in a few weeks and maybe you can change direction completely with them as you did with the peacock!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: