Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pear Play!

I've had these lovely pears sitting up on the counter for nearly a week now, patiently waiting for the tickle of the brush...
Handbook • Watercolor • Journal
Watercolor
3.5 x 8.5 inches
This was done in much the same way as the leaves in this post. I wanted them loose and easy. No pencil was used in either sketch. In the sketch above, I rendered the shape of all three pears as one shape. Once the wash was dry, I went back and added further washes to break the shape into separate pieces of fruit. Shading and shadows were added last.
Handbook • Watercolor • Journal
Watercolor
3.5 x 8.5 inches
I decided to have another go on the next page. Here, I painted the dark form shapes in one wash of Holbein's Mineral Violet. After that dried, I went back and added the various yellows, golds, reds, and browns. Last, I add a bit more shading to the fruit and to the table top. A couple of interesting notes I made to myself on this was that I was surprised to see how much I not only tightened up on the second sketch, but also decreased the size of the sketch.

After noticing the differences, I realized that I had not been sure how well the mineral violet would work out as the shadow color, let alone with the other colors added over it. Those "concerns" about whether or not I would succeed played a role in my decision making (to paint small) without me even being aware of it!

What might you be doing that holds you back?

12 comments:

  1. ...interesting. The difference between the two is striking. I love them both, but the feel of the first is so much freer.

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  2. This small format would hold me back. I think you did a fine job with these pears. Actually you made me hungry. ;)

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  3. I like the work you are doing in your sketchbook. The difference in your two sketches are very interesting - thanks for sharing the thought pattern. Really like how you allowed the watercolor to "work" in the first one.

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  4. Yes, the difference is amazing but the good part is you recognized why! those first pears look good enough to eat.

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  5. It's interesting what a difference being comfortable with what you are doing makes. I just read the other day to sing or hum while painting to hold down the negative or should do thoughts. I wonder what would have happened if you'd done that after deciding what you wanted to do on the second one where you weren't as relaxed. Of course, you probably didn't realize you were not as relaxed at the time!

    I think what holds me back is not thinking about all the steps or the order in which to work a subject before diving in. If I think the steps through first I come up with a better picture (and I don't mean detailed steps, just an orderly way to proceed). I'm way too impatient. I probably would not have done your second version due to my impatience and I wouldn't have learned what differences would occur in both the picture and my attitude towards it.

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  6. Oops, I forgot to say how great the pears came out. My favorite is the top version but both turned out great.

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  7. What held me back for awhile was painting on real sheets of watercolor paper. it made my paintings tight because I felt they had to be frame-able. Now, I just use sketchbooks and they are for me only.

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  8. Thanks, Kelly!

    Hope you got something to eat, Lisa!

    Thank you, Vicki!

    Thanks, Teri!

    Oddly enough, Timaree, I knew what I was doing was out of my comfort zone, but I didn't realize how much that effected what I was doing—I'll have to try humming next time!

    It is amazing what thinking through the steps will do for our work, and I do agree, it's a challenge to remember rather than just jump in!

    Hi, Holly! Once upon a time, in a lifetime far, far away, I struggled with that as well. Then I started painting with a lady who was 40 years my senior. I lamented one day about messing up a painting, and she looked at me and said, "It's only paper and there's plenty more where that came from!"

    I decided to "adopt" her attitude and I've not looked back since!! What kind of sketchbooks do you use? It looks like a moleskine in your avatar.

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  9. I love how you do a painting and show what you have learned from it.
    These are good by the way..I do see the difference tho. Funny how our subconscious takes over.
    I too worry about ruining a canvas or paper. Silly isnt it.

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  10. Lovely pears, and an interesting lesson at the same time. Thanks for sharing the whole process!

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  11. Interesting sketches and your description of how you did them. I would not have thought to first paint the whole mass as you described with the first painting. It really worked out for you!

    P.S. Besides your wonderful paintings you also have a way with words. "patiently waiting for the tickle of the brush..." really gave me a chuckle. ;-)

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  12. Love this... and your accompanying comments. Amazing how the subconscious so strongly dictates our actions while we're so blissfully unaware of it!

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