Monday, January 2, 2012

2 Watercolor Landscapes from Series

"Burnscape #9"
watercolor on paper, 2011
8" x 11" (20.32cm x 27.94cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

"Oil Plant #10"
watercolor on paper, 2011
7" x 10" (17.78cm x 25.4cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Here are two recent watercolors done near the end of 2011.
I'm still searching for my own 'visual voice' in watercolor. Up until the last six months, I had not painted with it much the last couple of years, at least in a more traditional direct approach.

I have a love/hate relationship with (this kind of) watercolor. I do enjoy it's direct, fast dry properties over oils but often I'll lay down a color wash and later realize it's wrong and I'm stuck with it. Or an area that got too dark and I can't lighten it enough. That is tough to take since I've invested the time and may otherwise like the painting, but it is essentially ruined by that.
It takes a different kind of planning I know, but it generally goes against the way I prefer to work.

I also dislike the early stages, the first few steps or washes. Mine always look so ugly and I have to remind myself to push through these initial steps and not give up. I don't have that issue with oils.

In both of these my initial intent was to work looser. They ended up tighter but that's okay for now. It is going to take a conscious effort to get to that goal without loosing the substance and solidity I want. That said, I'm still happy with the way they turned out.162,163

I found this quote from Jamie Wyeth that best sums up the last paragraph above. I'm happy that even the greats face(d) the same predicaments.

"Painting to me is constant searching.  I can see what I want, but I can’t get there, and yet you have to be open enough that if it goes another way, then let it go that way."         Jamie Wyeth.

Click 'LABELS" below to see more from each series
Click on images for larger view


  1. burn scape is just incredible! one would think it would evoke a feeling of desolation but it makes me feel hopeful for the beginning of new life. and oil plant with the deep red tanks(?) is strong and beautifully done! bravo! as much as i try to work looser if i go past the underpainting stage, i'm cooked.

  2. Thanks suzanne,
    Burnscape series, that too is my take on it.
    Working looser is definitely a whole different animal, especially in (traditional) watercolor.

  3. Good post David. Why I stay away from watercolors! You were very successful with both of these. I like the quotes. I feel I'm always trying to find my "voice" too and like you intend to go loose and the next thing I know I'm painting blades of grass. This year!!

  4. Thanks for visiting again Stephanie,

    Yeah, it almost like relearning it all over again.
    Takes a conscious effort to start AND finish loose.
    I'll get it, just need more mileage again.
    The next post, Urban River #2 is a gradual step in that direction.