Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Watercolor Painting - Elation, Deflation and Moving On

I just took a seventeen day vacation from work which I happily spent painting several watercolors. One of the challenges that I face is the inconsistency of my work which I blame on three things 1- needing more discipline as I work. What I mean is the basics, looking, working slow and deliberately, measuring my drawing, just thinking everything through., 2- Lack of time. Having to work a 9 to 5 as well as dealing with challenges at home make some days too difficult to overcome the shortage of time., 3- Its just where I'm at in my growth as an artist and the only way to get pass that is to keep working.

Having these seventeen days off helped to take away the problem of not having enough time. I decided to work in watercolor for the time I was off from work. I decided on a series of family portraits working first on a painting of my wife then my two boys and myself. After I finished those I painted a nude and another portrait of my wife, In these paintings I solved the challenge (for the time being) of the lack of time, I struggled with the discipline and in the end I was initially excited with the results then after a while I wasn't sure how I felt about the paintings. Maybe the drawing was slightly off or the washes of color were too purplish or I tried to render too much. I started to feel a bit deflated, like my best effort was wasted. But I can honestly say
it was my best effort  so I have to settle with this is just where I am at right now and have to move on from there. That helps me to feel better about the work and look forward to the next painting, another opportunity to do better.


  1. Hey Gil, I stumbled across this blog maybe a year ago, and had it open in a browser tab for months, thinking I would go through and read a bunch of posts. The idea of a working/family guy trying to find some quiet time to do some art struck a chord with me. But then a computer crash or something happened and I lost the URL. So when you shared this on facebook, I clicked through, and to my surprise found that blog that I had lost a few months back. I had never made the connection between grobles63 and Gil Robles. So anyway, nothing really to say except that I empathize with your situation. Especially the struggle to "think everything through" as you put it. When you get some limited drawing time, it's much easier to just do a sketch or whatever, rather than plan, do preliminary sketches, etc, on the way to a more polished work. Glad you found some time to do some concentrated work; the results are amazing. I think the deflation is natural, and we are all own harshest critics. You may pick these up in a few months and say "y'know these are really GOOD". Or you may realize you have progressed and are doing even better work. Either way it's a good thing.

    1. Hey Glen. Glad you found the blog and thanks for the encouragement. hoping that we both (any any one who can relate) can find the time to do more work and grow as artist.