Monday, May 23, 2011

Measure Twice, Cut Once...

Blueberries and Lilacs   watercolor   9.75 x 14
O.K.  I have to keep repeating this mantra.  Preparation is a key ingredient to the success of a painting.  But I don't think that I am unlike most artists who want to jump ahead to the fun stuff, the painting.  Impulsiveness.  At the Mentor watercolor workshop, we spent the first hour drawing our still life set-ups.  My goals were the following:  to familiarize myself with the subject matter; to understand the underlying rhythms of dark and light values that lead the eye through the painting; and to be able to merge similarly valued shapes for the sake of simplification.  And yet, I wanted to retain the enthusiasm for the painting.  (I didn't want to spend it all on the drawing.)  I believe the preparation paid off.  I used the drawing as a road map to guide my painting and used the actual objects for color and detail references.  I think it made for a better painting, at least one that eliminated meandering, making all strokes more crucial and significant.

Let this be a lesson to me, to us.

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