Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tea Party 2 In Progress - What Mud Looks Like

First, I want to wish you well this New Year's Eve day as we come to the end of another year and to thank you for traveling along with me in my art journey.  You are a blessing - offering encouragement, sound advice, and friendship.  Thanks!

Now to the painting in progress.  This is the painting of one of the little girls at the tea party as it stands at this point.   The painting is 5 1/2" x 6" and the face is approximately 1 3/4".  I will be working on it more to put in the glass plate and tea cup then may finish it with acrylics. 

Now to my self-critique.  I first painted the shadows in her face by dropping in Cobalt Blue then immediately dropped in Quin. Burnt Orange.  That was the first mistake, using Quin. Burnt Orange.  Why?  Because it leans more to yellow-orange rather than a red-orange which burnt sienna does.  It was very, very dark so I waited until it dried then lifted most of it out.  I did go back in with more Quin. Burnt Orange and less blue. 

The paper now looks overworked, the nose is a bit too short and wide, the left eye is painted a bit too high and the neck looks like it hasn't been washed for weeks.  I lost the shapes of the facial elements and this may be where a pen or pencil would come in handy to re-establish the features.

I'm happy cataloging some of the things I see that bother me because for a long time I wouldn't have been able to actually say why the painting doesn't look right.  That's why stepping back and evaluating one's painting is important - it helps us to see.  Maybe we can't see all that is right or all that could be changed to make a better painting but each thing we see takes us one step further in the direction of improvement. 

What would your next step be?  Stop and do another painting or rework the current painting even though it may never be seen by anyone but yourself? 


Teresa Palomar Lois said...

Do you think the paper would take a lifting without damage? if so you could try to lift the paint inthe areas you're not happy with and see if the lights are good enough to repaint on this one instead of starting fron zero.

I do hope to see you doing a series out of that photo ^_^

ann @ studiohyde said...

I like the way you critique yourself. It looks a pretty good portrait start to me - I would leave it a week and go back to it, that way you would see it even more clearly, but that's just my opinion (I give advice but don't listen to it myself!...aren't we all like that sometimes). Happy New Year to you.

RH Carpenter said...

It's very hard to keep the freshness in watercolor that portraits of children must have - I'm talking from experience!! I think, if this were mine, I'd lift a bit more softly and then paint some more, knowing it's a study for the final painting (which I'd start anew). Like you say, each thing we see good and bad means we're teaching our eyes to really see things as they are (not as we think they are). Have a wonderful New Year!! I like Teresa's idea of doing a tea party series - each one will get better and better and your sketches are wonderful so don't give up on these.

hw (hallie) farber said...

There is something endearing about this child. I'm not a watercolorist; I wonder if darkening the blue would make the skin appear lighter. Personally, I'd have to play with this painting.

Happy New Year.