I’m really beginning to get into the swing of taking an oil painting and interpreting it in watercolour – and I hope my enjoyment shows in this latest effort?
I think the sky carries some weight and atmosphere, which is partly captured in the reflection. There’s also some sense of distance, I’m often guilty of going in too heavy with my broad indication of distant hills and ruining the perspective early on. I also like the description of the trees to the right, and the broad suggestion and texture of reeds of the bottom left hand corner.
I think some areas of the reflections work better than others, and I’m less satisfied with the right hand river bank. I would also have preferred to describe the focal point of the gate and its reflection with more drier brush strokes, but I obviously misjudged how loaded my brush was!
And so it is that my barometer of success seems to be developing a very specific measure. A measure that can best be described as: ‘as long as there’s more I like than dislike – then that’ll do for me’. Now I know that this isn’t especially ambitious as a measure, however – from a recent point of disliking every aspect of every painting – I think it counts as quite a significant development!
Next up will be painting that has come about at the kind and constructive suggestion of one the visitors to my blog, the artist Keith Tilley. Following my first ‘oil into water’ attempt, Keith suggested that rather that use the Seago image directly, that I do a tonal sketch first, put the original image away, and paint from the sketch. Now I know, as many of you will too, that this is most definitely ‘best practice’. It helps map the image, so you really examine what it is you’re going to be painting before you start. Whilst you’re doing the drawing, you’re making critical decisions about what’s important, what’s dispensible, and how you’re going to tackle a particular scene in watercolour. All invaluable thinking and planning before your brush even goes near the paint or paper. I also know however, that my impatience to slosh some paint on usually gets the better of me.
So, I’m really grateful for Keith’s suggestion and I’m looking forward to putting the advice into action (even if I am still having to keep my impatient side at bay!)