Thursday, October 9, 2008

First Washes-Barely There

These beginnings are barely whispers. Since values play an important part in this Godiva painting, I began with the faintest, lightest spots. I have to say up front that that is not how I always start a painting. Sometimes with a watercolor painting, I jump right in with the spot that interests me the most. But sometimes there are other considerations so I am going more of a traditional route on this one.

Like what considerations? Like I am practically panting to dive right into the deep dark chocolate parts like the one in the second photo. It is the darkest bon bon, but the pigment I will use almost full strength from the tube for the chocolate, will run if it gets wet when I am doing the adjacent sleeve. So the sleeve comes first.

And besides, I want to set up some early differences in the key players. That is easy to do in the lightest of lights. In the third photograph, the inside of that sleeve is the lightest light on the whole painting. It won't be touched again. So it is very gently painted wet in wet with the slightest of nuance in a cobalt blue. Different from the lavender of its neighbor.

And that third sleeve, the one in the fourth photograph is that same cobalt blue, but it is a flat wash. So what? It so subtle it will barely show. That is merely the highlight color in the inner sleeve. Well, it will show to me. And yes it makes a difference. So 1, 2, 3, whispers of washes, the beginnings of personalities. The hard part is letting them fully dry before attacking my favorite spots already.

The other light surfaces, the foreground, the boxes, those too are established with underpainting. Again setting up relationships, families of color to play in. But mostly set up to keep that value progression working.

Delayed gratification, keeps a tension going and also an anticipation, at least it does for me. You can bet, I am chomping at the bit to get to the "good stuff", but I want what I want out of this piece. Yes, Brush is looking longingly at all the yellows. I am eying more blues and lavenders...and that chocolate, sigh.... and orange. I am going to have to reward myself soon. Staying in the moment of each piece, giving each part its due, that's a part of painting too.

How do you work through your projects? Are you a jump right in or a building sort?


ParisBreakfasts said...

So quiet today Ms. Truffle...Hmmm
Loose lips sink...what?
I know you love her

A Brush with Color said...

Such delicate, beautiful washes of color. I'm really enjoying watching you go through this process. Thanks for sharing! More! more!!

Graham Strong said...

Ah, the torture. Painting is so much different -- I can dive in anywhere, and pretty much CTRL-Z any mistakes I make. But painting -- you have no choice but to do it methodically, which is so counter-intuitive to creating art. As you say, you want what you want, which I suppose helps sooth the urge.

An aside: I just finished staining a new bench I got for the boys. I've noticed a series of drips that ran down the leading edge that I can't CTRL-Z and it's driving me nuts. A perfectionist at heart, but no skills to back it up.


Janice C. Cartier said...

So Graham, get the sand paper out...LOL And teach the boys wabi sabi, the appreciation of the imperfect...I like a patina, a pickled look myself.. very chic...the boys will never notice. They'll just love that "Dad made it".

A Brush- I love to paint "whites", an entire early series of my still lifes revolved around them and a lovely Fortuney fabric. Delicacy and strength... more coming.

PB- I unplugged to spend more time with the paint. And I am loving that.