Tuesday, May 4, 2010


You're probably saying, "She's STILL trying to get that Charles Reid still life right?" But, yes, that's what I'm still trying to do. How can something that looks so simple be so hard to do because:

1. I don't know when to stop applying/manipulating paint and let it be
2. In my mind, it looks unfinished - which is great for him but for me, I don't like it
3. I think: just a few little touches here...and there...and maybe there...and...

So, I'll keep trying. I'm getting closer, I think. I realize this style is not my style. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to do it once in a while. I did it once in a Janet Rogers workshop (she paints this way, too - crazy loose and colors on top of colors to change them, no lifting and mixing but just dropping in other colors on top of the colors down - and it works).

I'm showing my color choices of the red, blue, yellow although they look a bit brighter here than IRL - and I added a new yellow - Azo Yellow - for that lemony color so my lime didn't end up dark grey. And I let the background dry completely and went back in with more darks there and in the shadow shapes - so it was a two-step process that works better for me.

And here are the bottle, lime and apple again. I like this better than the prevous attempts. Showing my mixes of blues and yellows for the greens at the bottom of the page. If you enlarge it (just click on the picture), you should be able to read the mixes. Again, I let this dry completely and then went in with a bit of darker mixes and painted again - it still looks loose but I get darker values this way (and the blossom at the top of the bg was just a happy accident - they do happen sometimes).

The next thing he assigned for us was to set up our own still life and paint it like he does. Well, I got out my cobalt blue Starbucks cup and a box of petits fours and did this. Again, I had to let it dry and go back in to get some darker values.
As you can see I forgot to leave any whites!!!
Oh, well, every time you pick up the brush, you learn something - good or bad - so just keep picking up the brush and paint until you're exhausted, tired, can't look at it any more - and then paint it one more time! ha ha That's called Suffering for your Art!
(I apologize that you have to suffer along with me.)


Christiane Kingsley said...

Rhonda, if looking at your art is suffering, then I am ready to suffer all day long:-)
Thank you for showing your color mixes - I just love that Sienna and Prussian blue. I think your green apple and your bottle look beautiful.
I admire your perseverance and your patience.

Vicki Greene said...

I admire the fact that you keep trying new things and working with them when the first time didn't work. You are gaining skills that will come together as part of your own style.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks so much, Christiane. You are too kind. I fell in love with Prussian Blue when I saw Carol Carter use it - a love color that flows so well and makes great greens, too.
Vicki, thanks! I hope I am gaining something - and that I will get to a point where I can feel more comfortable doing this - and then I'll incorporate it into my stuff (I hope).

Laura Trevey said...

Thanks for your comments... I will be sure to share what I learn!!

xoxo Laura

RHCarpenter said...

Hey, Laura! Have a great time at the workshop :)

Carrie H. said...

I think you are getting closer to your goal than you give yourself credit.

Gillian said...

I do so sympathise,even though I like your practice pieces.
I had a discussion with my husband just the other day when he saw me frowning over my attempts at a loose style. He helped me see that simply liking someone else's style and preferring it doesn't make it right for me. We should all go with what we do best!
However, learning new skills helps us become more rounded individuals, so there's nothing lost. x

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Carrie and Gillian! I realize I am learning learning learning even if I get a bit frustrated at times - so many things in my life have come easily for me but not watercolor! It is a constant challenge :) that I love :) So...just adding to my toolkit of things I can do if need be, and then moving on to others and incorporating what works for me and leaving what doesn't work for me in the box :) Who knows, maybe someone else will come along that need that tool and I can share it with them?