I decided to try incorporating more color into my work now, as the previous things I produced seemed a little dull and washed out. This time, I read Herb Olsen’s book and decided to base a painting off of the composition of one of his own paintings. This one is a much more colorful and vibrant version of his painting of Central Park. I changed a few things, of course, but I got the inspiration from his Guide to Watercolor Landscape.
- 9×12 Arches 140lb Cold Press
- Phthalo Blue
- Rose Madder
- Yellow Deep
- Payne’s Grey
Things I like:
- The blending of the various colors as I tried to mix almost all of the hues on the paper instead of on the palette. It certainly makes for a more interesting effect and work overall.
- Little grassy details on the east embankment in shadow.
- The color of the buildings in the background.
- I succeeded in using a very limited palette.
- Man in the closest boat, and his dog.
- The shape of the closest boat.
- Hiding a fisherman in the trees. (Can you see him? :))
Things I would like to improve:
- Need more sky holes in the trees, near and far.
- Reflections in the water.
- Buildings and sky should be a little lighter in hue so that the foreground stands out a bit more. As it is, everything sort of blends together and the sense of depth is weak.
I was thinking of hiding this one and chalking it up as an exercise, but my sister has already claimed it and decided where she wants to hang it. She just insisted that I sign it first.
Even though this did not turn out quite as I had planned, this one was a really fun exercise. It was my first painting in which I used some artist-grade paints (Phthalo Blue and Rose Madder) I had purchased to compare to all of my other various grades of student paint. Guess what – I noticed a big difference.
Needless to say, I ordered some more paints to complete my primary colors and a few extra. This time, they are artist grade. As soon as I finish up the student-grade colors, I will be filling up the wells in my palette with those. They are a bit more expensive, but I will think of them as an investment. By ordering the primaries, I will have a wide range of hues I can produce anyway, without buying each color individually.
Sometimes I think that I am not progressing as I would like, but whenever I look back to square one of this journey, I am quickly reminded of just how far I have come. Keep putting your brush to paper, everyone!