Monday, October 29, 2012
watercolor on hot pressed illus. board
9.25" x 8.75" (23.495cm x 22.225cm)
A slight break from the previous celebrity portrait/caricature posts, this watercolor was done during the same period.
This was when I was experimenting heavily with watercolor on different substrates, exploring their various surface characteristics.
I tried watercolor boards, cold and hot press illustration board, kid finish (paper) fixed to board and some others, eventually arriving at a really slick surface, one that requires great patience in the early stages of building up the surface but gives the work the same kind of depth and richness of oil painting.
Although this painting has a traditional watercolor finish or look to it the surface and working methods used was not. This was after buying Burt Silverman's book "Breaking the Rules of Watercolor" which was both an epiphany and has had a lasting impact on my own work, especially in my less traditional watercolor technique like these here, here and here.
It is a way that invites working the medium back and forth, breaking down the surface then building it back up, a method that generally goes against the more traditional approach of additive (only) painting, applying washes from light to dark, building up the painting in a straight forward manner.
It is a more physical approach, scrubbing and wiping areas out then repainting, really taking advantage of the solubility of watercolor.
Lights and even whites can be brought back from dark passages, unlike traditional watercolor paper, which allows greater freedom to aggressively push paint around, never having to worry about holding back and preserving the white of the paper or the hassle of masking fluids.
While an art student I had instructors who taught the same kind of mentality, one that suits my temperament better. I no longer had to work in that kind of 'point A to point B' manner which is far too easy to screw up when you suddenly realize, half way through, you have gotten too dark, have the wrong color or temperature or want to completely remove some defeating element.
I can go forward, backward, sideways... it does not matter, there is no fear so it is a much more liberating way to work and it is certainly much more fun.
Incidentally, it also helps when I do paint using traditional methods and surfaces which I still enjoy as well, like this one here and here and "Union Pacific 8381".193
Click on image for larger view