I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else – Pablo Picasso
Seems I may have stumbled on some accidental learning.
I’ve been playing around, taking black and white photographs. Composing pictures by using shapes, tones, and contrast. Guess what?
I’m starting to connect the importance of tonal value to my painting compositions!
By accident (and playful experience) you can
As if by childish play, by snapping carefree photos, playing with compositions, leading lines, large blocks of contrast, the experiences have given way to an a-ha moment.
Somehow, through reviewing the days photo collections, the “good” ones that appeal to the eye, that seem more interesting, that cause a time to pause and take note, are the ones that definitely contain a full range of deep dark black through greys up to crisp bright white.
Of course, many books say this, but to build on it, really create it, to recognize it, carry your camera, click away in black and white. You’ll be surprised at what you find.
Color hues that you think will be dark tonal, may indeed be averagely medium. Bright colors you think would be white will show medium as well.
Wait til you see the world in tonal value!
Can’t wait to use these patterns to create paintings. Imagine the power your compositions will have after your new eyes show your new view.
What do you do learn tonal value? Are your experiences help you see these darks, mediums and lights?
My journey with watercolor is like a travel down the rabbit hole of Alice’s adventures. One turn leads to another, then another, until the spiral side stops, this time on “texture”.
Just saying it causes the tongue to click, the mouth to form. Texture awakens the senses, moves the body, stirs the soul.
Who can resist reaching out to touch what to the eye is soft, smooth, rough or bumpy? Texture demands a response.
One of those vehicles of such textures is gesso. Gesso is facinating.
With just ever so slight trials, you can manipulate and play with gesso to create subtle textures or pronounced textures. I had no idea what I was doing for this first application so I simply opened the jar, spooned gesso on on 140# watercolor paper, and smeared it with an old id card, a spoon, and a fork.
Here, if you zoom in to peer closely, you can see the randomness of my smooshings. I truly just let go and let it happen.
Now, bear in mind, my past few weeks have been filled with exciting new ideas of spontaneity, abstracts, and expressionism. So for this new discovery I was determined to release all the rules, leave them wayside, and just do. Experience the moments.
What did I find out? What joyful new discovery did I experience?
I love gesso.
The smoothness, the slurpy wet against the dry paper, the tactile excitement of this new to me substance was indulgent.
The big motions you can make, swirls in liquid claylike material, peaks of rough protrusions you can create, all of it, purely fascinating. Did you know you can create with an underlayer, a base coat even before getting to the beautiful bright paint?
It’s a new play toy for your imaginative playground! What a way to explore!
But, what happens when you add color?
I used black. Yes, black, lamp black. Why? Because, why not? No rules, remember? And there’s just so much talk and discussion about black, to use it, not use it… what the heck? I used it.
And some red, some violet, some blue too. My tools are simple enough, a few brushes. You can see here a BIG mop all the way to a rather small bamboo round.
Remember now, the goal is expressive with texture and color.
The first layer of paint says that, don’t you think so?
It’s what happened. I just let it come out.
Have you ever just picked up your brush and let go? No thoughts really, just let it happen.
(You could be surprised!)
My journey into texture has just begun.
It’s like a flood gate has just opened.
With the rules tossed out the window a new sense of freedom is awakening.
A stir of creativity is bubbling.
Isn’t that what we are seeking?
What we hope to attain?
What’s your thoughts? What fuels your creative spirit? Could texture be a start?
Click on the blog title and comment in the box, tell me I’m not the only one.
In the last post it was all about the fear of the white page and a change in mindset. With that change, thinking a little differently than usual, I went for it!
And this is the result.
The paper needed a friend, a pal, to keep it company.
Why not make a splash, let it happen, lose control?
Look, it made something on it’s own!
I gave it a few drops of alcohol to stir up the party.
One of the most fun qualities of watercolor is it’s ability to be unpredictable.
You give it a stage, great paper, you give it music, water, could it dance for us?
The Joy of Watercolor is it’s nature to run, to bloom, to travel, to be free. Part of why I love this medium over any other is this thing that it does, have a mind of it’s own to move and spread, travel and mix. Why do you love it? Do you like to watch it do it’s thing?
Here’s my first brave mark. What did you splash on your blank page?
Click on the blog title and comment in the box
Share your idea in the comments, could I try it too?
The new journal. Pretty. Clean. For artists, absolutely terrorizing.
Getting set to mark up this pentalic aqua journal.
What is it about that blank page that terrorizes us artists?
It’s so fast, so white, so pristine.
But wait, what if we thought of it as empty? Needing companionship? Needing some life? Wanting something to keep it company, yearning for it even, needing it so badly it’s very existence depended on it?
Then would it be easier to get that first mark on?
I know for me, I’ve been thinking of “saving” this pretty book. I mean, it’s made of real 140# cp watercolor paper, a gold mine right?
But then, my mind raced, thinking each time I use it, I need to paint a masterpiece on each page!!! My heart pounded, my palms got clammy, I could feel the panic! The pressure! To make something pretty, over and over, each time on every page!
No. No, no, no.
This blank white page in this pretty book will not win!
It needs marks. It’s yelling for anything, something, it’s so alone without a splash!
So you know what?
I’ve got my palette. (Mission Gold by Mijello)
I’ve got my brushes. (Da Vinci Maestro)
I’m going in. Bold, bright and big!
This first white page of this pretty book is gonna get a big ole splash of bright color for a friend. Stay tuned to see the proof!
Have you had this inner talk, these whispers in your ear, as you face a new painting sketchbook? Have you faced the fear? How do you overcome the terrorizing blank page?
Click on the blog title and comment in the box, share your triumph, your first splash on this known bane to artist. What do you do?
What’s an artist need most?
New Watercolor Art Supplies of course!
Jackson’s Art has become one of my favorite online suppliers of art goodies. They have great customer service and ship quickly with great packaging.
In this box, a gem!
Da Vinci Maestro series 35, size 12.
The brush is beautiful. A full review son, but know now if you want lots of painting power and agility, this brush is for you.
I love it! Here is the size 5 and 00 too.
Giving the Cosmotop Spin a try for big washes. Review of that soon too, because I have used it and it’s a dream!
Have you tried the Maestro or the Spin? How do you like it? What’s your go to brush? Do you have a favorite online art store?
Click on the blog title and comment in the box, I’m hoping to learn of new places for supplies and of course would love to hear about your brushes in your toolbox?
Artists need supplies. And these artists (us) visit local store Hawaiian Graphics for some much needed tools to complete a few projects.
Everything we create has some behind the scenes to it and field trips for supplies is one of those behind the scenes types of things.
Today we traveled to support our local shop and to get some much needed foam board, clips, and colored pencils.
It’s great to have an Artist spouse, with a cool ride!
A mini is born!
Tiny whale tail
Whale watching season in Hawaii is so exciting. We can hear whale songs when we snorkel 😁💙
This started as a test patch for paint colors, ended up a mini painting, 😉 I couldn’t help it, it was fun!
Have you ever started with a dab here dab there and have it turn out to Be something?
Have you painted minis?
Have you heard the whale song?
Watercolor on paper .