Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Another Painting, Another Struggle, Another Victory

I know its been a little while since I've posted. I've been working on the watercolor on the left. The image is actually a detail of the finished painting which is done on 18" X 24" Arches 140 lb. Cold Pressed watercolor paper. I only had about a couple of hours a day to work on it so it took me awhile to finish.

 Although not entirely happy with the finish I still feel its more than I've done before. The size was more of a challenge to work in especially to arrange all the elements in the painting. All the figures come from different photos which I took at Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street Demonstrations. I used about four separate photos for the central figure alone. The bag on the lower right is my own bag which I painted in because I thought I needed to place something in that lower right corner.

The painting bellow it is a study I did in my sketch book of the main figure.
During the time I was painting this picture I read an account of how Turner
painted a watecolor ,
"he began by pouring wet paint on the paper till it was saturated, he tore, he scratched, he scrabbled at it in a kind of frenzy and the whole thing was chaos - but gradually and as if by magic the lovely ship, with all its exquisite minutia, came into being ..." 

I would love to have that much command of the medium. Maybe someday. This painting was a struggle most of the way, several times I wanted to give up on it, but then I remembered another quote about the medium-
"In watercolor, if you are not in trouble, then you're in trouble."  (Selma Blackburn)

Struggling with painting is a good thing. Growth comes from three things:
1- Challenge yourself to do more, hence the struggle.
2- Having the discipline to stay with it and see it through.
3- Being persistent and continuing on to the next painting
However small the victory is in the final painting it is still a victory. Growth will come over time. Keep in mind to out do the thing you did last and learn from other artists.

In my struggle with this painting I used other painting tools besides my brushes. I used an old tooth brush to scrub out areas and make corrections, (who says there are no second chances in watercolor). I also used an Xacto knife to scrap out whites. I've used these tools before but I did so more often in this painting.


  1. Me encanta su trabajo......Lo felicito....

  2. I'm not sure what you were aiming at in the finished painting. To me, the 'study' you did in your sketch book is a marvellous piece of work, and has a more convincing sense of light, movement and air. The finished piece is excellent too, but, for me, has a sense of being frozen in time.

    I came across your work because I've been drawing a guitarist, and haven't made him sit still, just to occasionally pause in his playing. It's a case of trying to convey the quintessence of four dimensions in two!

    (I don't know if you use photographs; personally I'm very distrustful of the camera: it always lies in that the information it conveys is so much less than direct observation.There's an awful tendency for photo-realist paintings of people to look like waxworks - I'd say you had avoided that, bu beware!)