Friday, April 23, 2010


I'm still trying to conquer that very wet-in-wet and juicy style Charles Reid has mastered. It ain't easy!

I haven't started cussing yet but I'm getting close, especially with this set-up where it's supposed to be very dark behind the objects but bleed the shadow shapes into the background on the left (shadow) side. Hard to control all that water and I'm getting the values too light. It's all about paint to water ratio and how you can (or can't) control it.

My first two efforts are pitiful. Lots of bleeding and blossoms and I only got the background dark in the 2nd try (bottom) by using Prussian Blue instead of Cobalt and once it's dried, it's on there (no lifting or blending).
I'm blending the background too much - no variety in the colors (I'm trying to stick to 4 colors - a red, a blue, a yellow and a green for the lime if the original 3 colors can't make a good green).

Traded the Prussian for Cobalt Blue instead so no staining but some granulation - which is okay. Too much separation of colors in the background on this one.

And finally began again with Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone Rose and Yellow Ochre and a bit of Sap Green for the lime.
This painting is fresher but the background is no where near as dark as it needs to be. I could go back in the background only and play with that (he did that on the DVD, going back to darken and drop in colors over and over), but I think I'll leave it at this. The splatters were done out of pure frustration at the end when I realized that the background was drying too light. If I'm going to leave it this way (and I think I will), I should go in with some touches of darks in the pot and lime to tie the darks together more.
Now I'm going to watch this part of the DVD again and carefully think about what he's doing that I'm not doing. These "assignments" are just going to get more detailed and complicated as the DVDs go on so I'd better get this before moving on to the next painting. (I do like the pencil and the lime in this one but that little pot drives me crazy.)


Gillian said...

LOL - I love the title of this post. Sharing your trials and tribulations is very brave but also helpful. I agree that water to pigment ratio is key, and I'm certain that CR took many years to get the 'feel' of that so keep going! x

laura said...

I love seeing all the versions. Wet-in-wet is hard--you have to get all these variables just right!
The cobalt blue background one is lovely (I really like the setup itself) and the background's dark enough for me!

Vicki Greene said...

I admire you for even trying this!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Gillian - helps to have a sense of humor about these things rather than throw a fit :) Yes, he practiced for a long time before getting where he is - problem is, I don't have that much time to practice to get it right! ha ha
Laura, thanks so much. You paint so like him without the splatters - I envy your style!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Vicki :) I think, if I keep trying, I'll get closer to what I want to accomplish: not to paint like Charles Reid but to loosen up and Stay My Hand when I need to in order not to overwork the paint.

Michelle Himes said...

Good for you, Rhonda, for always being willing to try something different. While I like Reid's paintings, I couldn't (and don't even want to try) paint that loose. I guess I like my hard edges, but I like loose when he does it. I know that it's much harder than it looks to pull it off, especially if you aren't instinctively a loose painter. Hope the next one nails it!

Christiane Kingsley said...

Rhonda, I admire you for your dedication to these exercises and experiments.
Like Laura, I really like the cobalt blue background.
I am staying tuned for more...

Cathy Gatland said...

Rhonda, you're working so hard on this, you'll get there! It looks like you've blended the shadow shapes very successfully into the background in all of them. I keep telling myself I LIKE bleeding and blossoms when I make them but I don't know who I'm trying to fool!

Nick said...

I think that second pic is one of your best!!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Michelle. I think I'd like to try to master several techniques and this is just one of them - but if you can paint this wet-in-wet and juicy, you can painting any way, I think :) I'm going to keep trying, anyway, just to see where it takes me.
Thanks, Christiane and Cathy :) I am working hard but maybe not working smart? ha ha I'll get there...maybe after I watch the DVD section another 5 times or so!
Nick, you are too kind! But thanks!