Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pushing On Through

One of the most annoying things for an artist is to sit down to work and then find the flow is just all wrong. I had one of those days on Monday. Ugh!

Granted, my son was home sick (he has a really good case of the flu going) and my daughter called and came home with it too (although not as bad.) Perhaps that is what unsettled my flow. Whatever it was, things did not go as planned.

I had decided not to work on my watercolor, and instead focus on my Halloween Kittens painting and a mini-canvas mermaid. Instead, I somehow found myself working on the watercolor first thing. I'm not sure how I even got there! I think I must be so frustrated at it, that my brain is approaching it like taking a swing at it, trying to beat it, rather than "OH boy! I wanna work on that!"

Not the best approach to art, I know. I know. I eventually set it aside after getting to this point:

Now, I am noticing some problems I am having when the paper buckles (it's a hotpress block, but it still ripples a bit), because it tends to do it across her face and that makes the errors in structure (at least as I envision her face) even more glaring. I'm beyond frustrated that watercolors are of a more permanent nature. One mistake really can ruin the entire composition. Honestly? I'm aware I probably should have tossed it out, but I'm relearning a lot of techniques I used to use but haven't in so many years. That is leading to other ideas that hopefully won't end in disaster. Also, who knows, maybe I'll be able to fix it enough that it's not a toss-away piece.

I'm going to keep some of the yellow glow in her hair, I rather like the lit-up look to it. So anyway, a ways to go, and I'm not happy with the moon so I'll likely take a swipe at that next, along with everything else.

Then, after getting mad and setting aside the watercolor, I pulled out my canvases. Instead of working on the kittens, I went for the mermaid panel, because that was supposed to be fun! Fast and fun! Fun and fast! Dagnabbit!

Instead, I struggled. I felt like I just couldn't find my groove. I have NO idea why. But... ARGH! I kept pushing, kept forcing. I knew I needed to just get SOMETHING to work, otherwise the day would feel like a total loss to me. Late, very late into the day, I hit on what I wanted to do for her scales using a multi-layering thick technique, and I was able to finish her tail and most of her torso:

Now, the light was bad because I snapped this late at night with just my LED clamp light, so the reflections are all wrong. But, you get the basic idea. It's finally going in the right direction. I'll probably be able to finish it soon. Unfortunately, my lack of groove means that when this painting is done, I'll have spent probably 8-10 hours on it. *head*desk*head*desk*

And therein lies my problem. I am simply not a fast painter, and I cannot figure out how to speed it up. This is my career, and I'm slow as molasses! It's a problem. Although some of that problem seems to be rooted in the fact that I don't paint the same thing over and over. I think I'll do another mermaid and see if it goes any faster, to sort of test my theory.

Anyway, at least something went right. It was a frustrating day at the easel! Here's hoping the next day is better!

1 comment:

Cindy D. said...

The watercolor is looking wonderful and I agree about the blonde highlights. Looks really cool! I love the way you've done the fields in the background, too. I think it is a common thing, working on something other than the thing you intended to work on. It all works out in the end, mostly. ;D