Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Garden Gate–Watercolor Plein Air

I was out at Scotsdale Farm last weekend. The weather was supposed to cooperate and get better as the morning advanced, but no such luck. It was cold and windy and I froze to the bones.

I managed to do this one before my fingers fell off and my paints froze. It actually started as a larger 14”x10” painting but when I got home and spent some time getting familiar with it, I decided that a lot of the peripheral extras had to go. It is now am 8”x6” but I like the composition much better this way.

Garden Gate, Watercolor 8”x6”

It is amazing how when you are not comfortable, you tend to make so many mistakes. I always tell fellow artists to reduce and eliminate anything that is not material to a painting. Yet this weekend, I ended up adding so much that was not essential. Normally I would do three to four pencil sketches before I commit paint to paper.

I sometime do much more actually just testing different compositions and designs. Many of those would be duds and that is the whole point. You have to go through the duds to get to the good stuff. The bad compositions are somehow the ones that come first and as you do more and more rough sketches you get closer and closer to the essence of the painting. I always find that the more I sketch, the better the final result is.

Needless to say as cold as it was this weekend, I tried to cut corners, but after cropping and restating, I think this one is a small gem.


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