Monday, August 21, 2017


In this next section of the DVD, My World of Watercolor, Shirley Trevena takes an unfinished painting (about at the middle stage) and shows how she looks at her work to finish it.  She intends to leave a lot of white on this but knows it's not finished yet.

What would you do at this stage?  Would you add more or just crop it off and say it's done?

First, she brought down the tulips drooping down to the bottom, adding some lines (which she says indicates the table top, although that's only a table top in Shirley Trevena's world :)

And looking around the house, she comes upon this little jar that will fit perfectly in the lower left edge.  She just holds it and paints it in the corner, not caring that she's overlapping it to the blue willow vase that's already there.  Edges don't matter too much in a lot of her work - but she does play up hard edges in places.

You can see at the upper left edge, she's taken that drawing behind her left hand and redrawn it - somewhat - in that corner and just softened it with water after sketching it out with a water soluble graphite pencil.  Not but a trace of color there, she wants it to read as a graphite drawing on the wall behind the flowers.  Do you see the pencils she's added to the deep blue vase?  Those pencils (she ends up with four of them in various colors) point towards the graphite drawing on the wall = clever!

Still a bit too much white in the upper right corner of the painting so she just adds more irises and leaves there, bringing them up to the top of the paper.  She reiterates some of the colors, making them more colorful and bold (she does not like weak color).

And, at this stage, which she says would have taken her 4 or more hours in her studio, she says the painting is finished.  

It's often hard to finish a painting if a lot of planning doesn't happen before paint goes on the paper.  So, if you find yourself in this spot, just ask, "What would Shirley do?" and go looking for things to add!  

I know - it sounds soooo easy.  But it's not!  Give it a try, though, and see what happens :)

Now, time to go out and see the eclipse (safely, by looking on the ground through leaves or a paper with a hole punched in it, since we don't have safety glasses).  I hope, wherever you are in the US today, you are safe and enjoy this event.


Chris Lally said...

Shirley is such a great artist. I wish she was my neighbor. I could just walk over and ask her what to do...

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

her paining turned out lovely :) love the edition of the blue, really completes the painting. wish I had time to get my watercolours out now lol :)

Debbie Nolan said...

Shirley's painting is gorgeous. She has a wonderful way of winging it to make it all come together. Thanks Rhonda for sharing her techniques with us. That eclipse was certainly awesome. Hope you enjoyed it. Hugs!