Friday, January 16, 2009

The Ugliest Sweepea Ever Seen

Sweetpea - before I ruined it by tossing in a horrid background.

And with a horrid background and trying to save it by misketing the flower and working on the background separately - not a good idea - especially since, when I removed the misket, I made a nice large smear of grey on the flower to the bottom right :( Yuck!

So, time to put my big girl panties on and start over. I am not going to let this get me.

I turned the painting over and began with a loose sketch and color study. Yes, a color STUDY - like, what color do I want to use and where - good idea? It couldn't hurt! And what did I decide? That I need to leave some important whites in the background and flower - in both places - paper that is untouched with any color. Leaving whites - one of my failures is that I just slap that color on everything - and no, pale yellow doesn't count, it has to have whites!!!

It may just take repeated attempts at a painting before I get it right - maybe my skull is so thick, I can't just get it right the first time? Can you say, "slow learner?" That must be me. And, of course, I can't take these concerns to class because Kathy (yes, I'm talking about you, Kathy!) will say, "There is no background and foreground. Stop thinking that way." If I could do that, I would, right? But once again, "slow learner," that's me! And you know the easiest thing would have been to leave the background without a spot of color - just plain like a botanical print. But easy? Nope, not me, I like things to be as difficult as possible!

Shapes + Integrated Whole + Leaving Whites = A Better Painting

If you can't laugh, you just might cry - so go ahead and laugh! And try again. Keep trying until you get it right.

If this was easy, everyone would be doing it.


debwardart said...

Keep going - that's how you learn! But - do you cry until you laugh, or laugh until you cry!!!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Coming from a botanical background, I do prefer the simpler version with 'no' background for your sweetpea when created in watercolour but you are showing us two very different interpretations of the flower both lovely with different emotions.

Chris Beck said...

You're right, Rhonda: if this were easy, everybody would be doing it!! It takes a special brand of stick-to-it-tiveness to be a watercolorist! One tip on masking: I love to use masking fluid, but I have learned (the hard way) to wipe paint off the larger areas with a damp tissue before trying to remove the masking. Maybe you did that and the background just got pulled onto the flower when you removed the miskit. That's happened to me too!!

Chris Beck said...

p.s. I haven't tried these, but a friend who took a workshop from Nita Engle sent me a box of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, saying that Nita uses these to lift paint back down to nearly the white of the paper. If you've decided to write off the Sweeet Pea, you might want to experiment on it. Ya never know... ;-)

Dawn said...

I think you are doing great Rhonda, and your painting is very good. your color choices for the fg and bg are some of the same....

I too am sorry about Andrew, I am becoming quite a fan of the whole family.

RHCarpenter said...

Deb, I think laughing and crying, both - but not at the same time - or the white coats come for you!
Joan, I preferred it with the untouched bg, too - should have left it that way.
Chris, I think you're right but I think it was a smear of still damp misket (I use Pebeo Drawing Gum and it's very thin and blue-grey) when I was rubbing it off :( Not sure the Twinrockers paper can take the Mr. Clean treatment - I might try it just to see what happens to the paper - that's some strong stuff!
Thanks, Dawn, you are too kind.
In fact, you all are so kind for sticking through this whining with me! You deserve some cheese with that whine :)

Anonymous said...

Well, it's nice to know someone listens to my profound wisdom :-) Understanding that the picture plane is all one plastic (in the sense of moldable) flat surface will help you realize that the terms foreground and background are meaningless (in that context). It took me a long time to begin to grasp this concept. You're doing fine - keep plugging away!


RHCarpenter said...

Kathy, I do hear you in class - I just can't get my hand holding the brush to do what my mind knows - yet! ha ha