Gouache on 140lb cold press wc paper
This one was finished earlier in the week. I had done a trial run of the idea and the results were anemic. That's what happens though when I am not focused on what I am doing and just churn something out to be done with it. To fix my mindset, I redid the shapes within each rock, focusing and shading with pencil some simple patterns with lights, mediums, and darks. When I began this version, I laid in the darkest areas first. I guess this is contrary to how watercolors work but because I was painting each discrete area individually, it really didn't matter. What I am discovering (it didn't take long at all) is that watercolors (and gouache) have a quickly achieved additive effect when layering colors. The gouache can be used transparently too for the most part though that is not its intended use of course. They are both such diverse mediums. I love watching the paint settle into it's place and seeing how the granulation occurs and what happens when you add color or water or both to a drying puddle of paint. In the pic above you can see where I had some "backflows" in the green area in the background. I don't mind that a bit and think it adds to the texture of the piece. I also learned about layering when I added the water colors. Rather than just painting the water shape I painted some of it over the bottom of the rocks. That seemed to add to things and I like the effect. Overall I am really pleased with this piece. This way of working is so exciting to me. I will say that the contour drawing is the basis for this piece (and others I have done like it). I made the initial mistake of transferring all of the interior lines of those rocks to my blank paper. That was one of the areas that threw me off initially. When I restarted the piece, I left the insides of the rock blank and added the colors freehand, so to speak. That was much better for me.
OK, I have some errands to run today. Tomorrow I am back in the studio. I have started an acrylic painting of two women in a field. This is one of my favorite LOC images to date and is a larger piece-20" x 20". It's good to work with acrylic again.
Hope everyone has had a creative week so far. Thanks for reading and commenting.