Wednesday, August 22, 2007

He's a Big Baby, 1

I started this painting and I think I'll call it He's a Big Baby. This is watercolor on gessoed mat board.

We're applying to a gallery, Robert with his poems and me with my paintings so I want some new work to use for shows and applications. We have three or four big shows coming up, so I need something for those too.

Now I know how it feels to need a lot of work and be pressured for the time to turn it out. It's a good feeling but a scarey feeling, wondering if you can get everything done that you need to do. I'll make a lot of prints for the shows and hope that carries me through with what I need there.

I've painted to day until I'm cross eyed, I guess that's long enough.

If you're interested in using the technique I use for these watercolors, first cover a piece of mat board with several coats of gesso. Let each coat dry thoroughly before you add another coat. I paint three or four layers on both sides, sometimes going to five layers of gesso. It makes a nice surface for these paintings.

I then draw my image onto the mat board, either with a pencil or my paint brush. The nice thing about this is, if you make a mistake, you can put some water on your brush and take it right back to the gesso.

This technique is backward from most watercolor painting. I put on a lot of dark colors, then wipe them off to get to the highlights. When I start a painting, as I've done with this one, I find the light places, and place a dark color next to them. I want the light colors to look strong and lively. This helps them to pop, and makes a nice contrast.

To put clouds in the sky, I threw cobalt blue over the entire sky. I then loaded a brush with water, and flipped and drug it through the sky, leaving random puddles of water here and there. They dry looking really funny with a lot of blooms and weird shapes. I'll go back in with a barely wet brush and pick out the highlights of the clouds and enhance their shapes.

To make grass, I throw some darker layers of yellow ochre and sienna onto it. I'm just going to for some random patterns to work with at this stage. I don't care how they look or where they fall.

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

You can see more horse paintings on my website. If you'd like to leave a comment, help yourself! :)