Oh mannnnn. I decided to wait until later to hit the gym (later meaning after 5 AM) because I was bound and determined to PAINT FIRST! But the prep took time. And then I prepped a second because I want to do two at the same time - just to show 'em.
And THEN it was lunchtime. And I made the mistake of eating a big (and delicious) camarones fajitas quesadilla and quac. And cheeeeeps. So full. I felt like Santa with his round belly.
Waddled into the gym and strapped in to the rower. The good news was that my power output was great - doing it later in the day really helps. The bad news is my stomach and brain had decided between the two of them that it was time to digest, not to row like crazy. Ugh.15 minutes and I'd had enough.
On the plus side - I'm back in the studio with my paints!
A couple of my paintings are on display at the John Muir Medical Center. And so i figured I'd show you what the wrapper looks like. John Muir Medical Center with Mount Diablo lurking in the background.
How to push your art further? Look at those who are doing something you like and then figure out how they're doing it. And that's what this is. Alvaro has a loose approach to his painting and so I figured I'd try and deconstruct it by trying to emulate it. Lots of darks and suggestive rather than precise. What do you think?
How did he DO that? How often have you thought that? Lots of artists are out there doing lots of artsy things and wouldn't it be great to have their various tricks and techniques and approaches in your own bag of tricks, to modify and employ as appropriate? Sure would!
That's what I was focused on yesterday. Alvaro Castagnet has a very loose (my wife says messy) and dark style. Quite impressionistic. Exactly the opposite of how my art style originally developed. Well, to me that means I've got a weakness. I know how to "do" detailed and precise but not loose and free form. Which means it's time to remedy that failing. Yesterday what I did was take a painting of Alvaro's and said to myself "Flip this old painting over and see what you can do on the backside. Try and replicate Alvaro's work."
Here's the result. Alvaro on top and Crow on the bottom. I didn't expend much time on my pencil sketch since that went against my "Try and be fast and loose" mission. Hence everything is a bit off in terms of where and how big. But ... did I capture something?
I think the answer is a bit of yes and a bit of no. Loose and suggestive - check. But my own painting, taken by itself, has an issue with the three motorcyclists on the right. They're too small for the foreground space they're occupying. Of course, I wasn't really worrying about that then BUT now that it's done I think I should have. Another issue is my background wash. I've got a LOT of yellow in that sky whereas Alvaro's is much more washed out. And his watery and misty look is much watery and misty than mine. Something that's clearly related to the water/pigment ratios and the paper's level of dryness. I know I was quite unhappy with my water mister's performance (and thus stopped using it) and so my paper was definitely on the dry side more than I wanted.
Anyway, I'm very happy with the overall experiment and plan to wash and repeat until I feel that I've got a solid sense of "loose and drippy art". And I'll be sure to fill you in on the progress as it happens!
Here's a view of a recent portrait I've finished. I'll tell you, I had to work quickly - my model just couldn't sit still!
Or ... is it?
When you go to a paint manufacturers website they'll usually list the properties of the watercolors they sell. And one of those properties is how lightfast, or fugitive, or perennial it is. All words that refer to "Does the color fade with exposure?"
There's an official organization that test them. But not everyone uses it and not all colors have been evaluated. And just how much worse is a 1 than a 2 than 3 on their scale?
That's what this is for. A page of swatches of a variety of watercolor paints, ranging from excellent to totally crummy in terms of lightfastness. My plan is to cut it in two, put one half in a drawer and expose the other to sunlight all day long. Day after day. How long do you expect it to be before I see a difference? I have no idea but I'm about to find out!