Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week 3: Building and Foliage

You may remember this house from a previous post - I painted the neighbor house to this house during the summer.  I preferred the shape of this house and have wanted to come back to it, so this week's assignment was a great match.

Again, I only had an hour to complete the painting below.  The biggest problem to me is the dark foliage on the sides which kept me from seeing the lines of the house in a few places.  I thought I could fake it, but I've ended up with a house that has obvious structural issues.

I am considering giving this a second go.  I'd like to fix the lines and perspective, commit to more shadows, and play up the complementary colors.  I think this could be a really pretty cottage-y type piece if I can loosen up a little, and if I can figure out how to communicate the blue of the house without it becoming overwhelming.

Bottom line though:  I was actually quite pleased by how this came out.

Week 2: Marsh Landscape

After the hot mess I painted the first week of class, I was really pleased by how well this turned out.  I got some really pretty colors, was able to save a lot of effective whites, my reflections weren't bad and I got some nice darks in a few places.

The class format only gives me an hour each week to try to get to a finished state, and after an hour this is probably only about 65% done, but I think it's tough to go back to something once I've put my brush down.

Week 1: Washes

It's kind of ironic that I just mentioned how I feel like I've made so much progress in the past year, and then I have to post my Week 1 in-class study which turned out SO abysmal.  

My teacher provided the reference, which was a close-up of some kind of plant foliage.  We were supposed to practice our washes.  I wish I'd used some glazing techniques and treated the image as a whole instead of a bunch of small shapes.

There is nothing about this to like, and I'm going to put it here and then walk away from it forever.  No looking back!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Year

In September of 2010, one year ago, I took my first watercolor class.  I had enjoyed an hour or two of watercolor instruction in a college class about teaching art to children, and 15 years later when my husband and kids gave me some art supplies for my birthday I knew I wanted to give it another try.

In the year since I started painting, I've taken 3 classes and I'm beginning my 4th.  Two of the classes were pretty traditional, and one was an outdoors class.  I still struggle with a lot of things, but what started out as a 10-week experiment has been very enjoyable and fulfilling.  Not only that, but as I compare my current work with my paintings from a year ago I can see a lot of improvement.

I'm looking forward to seeing where this next year will take me.