I am not racing through this course I’m taking. First, I discovered I need to get a real set of watercolors. The ones I have might work for a kid in grade school, but are completely useless for this. But that’s okay. I’ll find something that looks good and order it. Meanwhile, I went through two videos on shading to create a 3D image and learned a few important lessons, not the least of which is to make sure when you are creating a multi-layered painting, you have to wait until it’s dry before you go to the next level. If you hurry, it will all bleed together and ruin your lines.
Hurrying has always been my biggest fault. I played the piano too fast too. Photography has taught me both patience — waiting until the shot “arrives” — and then hurrying to get as many shots of that flapping bird as I can before he or she flies away. Watercolors are another interesting combination of hurry-up and wait.
I painted a few small peppers the other day. Three colors: red, yellow, and orange. I used a combination of ink, watercolor pencil, and watercolors. I could manage them because they are each a primary color.
Most things are not a primary color and that’s where my watercolors fail. No range of shades, no pallet, and the brushes are worth what I paid for them — not much. I need better brushes. I should have known because I use better brushes than these to do makeup, so why did I think super cheap brushes would work for painting? If they wouldn’t be good enough for eyeliner, they probably won’t work well for much else.
I was reasonably satisfied with the produce, so I decided it was time to try another bird. We have been assaulted by marauding grackles, so what else could I do? What I didn’t count on was how very difficult it would be to find the right colors. Especially because grackles are shiny, almost metallic in bright light. Even using my fine quality watercolor pencils, there were so many shades of blue from nearly black to turquoise, purples, red, greens, browns, orange.
It looks like a grackle. Most important, I got the body shape right. Even the beak is the right shape. I didn’t have the right yellow for the eye, though — and there were not enough shades of red, purple, blue, or green. Grackles have a lot of colors. I’m not even sure it’s possible to count them.
At least it looks like a grackle and it doesn’t look flat. Not fully 3D, but not flat. That’s a big improvement from the cardinal — who really WAS flat. Though I’ve noticed that many renderings of Cardinals look flat. That might be because they are such a solid single shade of red, it’s hard to make them look “round.”
I’m not sure what I’m going to try tomorrow. I was considering celery. Texture. Celery has texture. Or a Blue Jay. I’ll let you know how it goes.