Saturday, January 7, 2012

Old School Art -- Learning to Watercolor

For the past few weeks I have been reintroducing myself to hands-on art.....painting on paper.  Painting with water colors is new to me.

Years ago I took a few painting classes (workshop-style) in the stockrooms of stores that sold craft supplies.  Tole painting, oil painting, I remember, but I don't remember ever studying watercolor techniques.  So, I'm learning as I go.   I'm learning old-school-style.....by taking a brush and putting it to the paper and teaching myself what I like and don't like about my skills.  I am enjoying this!

After taking thousands of photographs of birds in my backyard, I decided to start painting the ducks I have been watching.  These ducks have become little friends.....and I can see by the photographs that they are not imaginary.....sometimes they seem to be asking if they can sit in my lap when I am watching them near the pond, though we have not become that friendly!  I love to see their water-play when several of them are on the pond, and I watch their expressions as much as their feathers.  All of this duck-observation has made me less critical of my own artwork.  I know my basic painting skills need work; but when I get a sense that a painted duck is looking up from the paper, like the ducks in the backyard, I'm satisfied and can move on to another painting.

Here's a photograph I used as a reference for a recent painting:


And here's my watercolor painting:


I'm enjoying the process of learning from authentic experiences: feeding, observing and photographing ducks in my backyard; organizing and sharing photographs via the internet; using my computer for referencing and enlarging duck photos whilst painting; photographing the various stages of my paintings; digitally enhancing and cropping photographs of my paintings; and, now, sharing these experiences and paintings via facebook, Picasa, Twitter, Youtube, and Blogger. 

Here's a short slideshow of the stages of my painting:



I'm not sure where my mind would be, if it were not for the blessings of ducks and digitalization in Daylesford....down under. 


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