Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 26, 2009 - Day 47

Da Vinci watercolor on 140 lb Aquarelle cold press watercolor paper

I wasn't happy with my flowers over the last couple of days so I picked up "The Watercolor Painter's Solution Book" by Angela Gair. The book contains "44 Common Painting Problems and How to Solve Them".

In the book there was the solution to my problem - flat and lifeless floral paintings which are caused by trying to paint too much detail. The solution is to paint wet-in-wet and let the color flow where it will. So that's what I did. The other suggestion was to make sure that some areas are left white to "rest the eye" and create the illusion of sunlight.

Just doing those two little things greatly improved my flowers. I can't wait for tomorrow's floral to try this technique again.

The other thing that I learned today was that the background really does make the painting. Originally I had a pale brown background which looked OK but not fabulous. The flowers weren't really "popping" with that color. Then on a whim I decided to add a wash of Aquamarine Blue over top. Suddenly, the tulips were bright and vibrant. They weren't lost in the background anymore. I should have scanned it with the brown and then again with the blue to show the difference but I really didn't think the background color would change much. Wow, was I wrong in that regard.

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