Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Watercolor WIP and Palette Decisions

Good morning! I just got the most wonderful email from a home town friend that I haven't seen in a while. It just so happens that she is a good friend of a blogger friend of mine and happened to see my name in the comments there. Isn't life interesting and what a reminder of how small this world really is. Hilda, your email made my day!

I've been adding darker values to my watercolor in progress and am not sure if I've improved it or totally ruined it. Here it is now - it is painted on a 140# block, but it is Canson and it is buckling as you can see.

And here it is cropped and matted (digitally).

Opinions and/or suggestions please!!! Don't hold back - give it to me straight; I can take it.

I have registered for Laure Ferlita's Artful Journaling: Foundations class that begins on September 12. This is an online class and I am so looking forward to it. My friend, Dee, in South Bend, is taking it at the same time and we hope to get more out of it having someone we know to share with. I've purchased the recommended paints from Daniel Smith and am getting ready to organize my palette. I am thinking that I will put red at the beginning of the left side, yellow at the beginning of the top, blue at the beginning of the right and the earth colors on the bottom. This will give me space for the oranges between the red and yellow, the greens between the yellow and blue, and the violets beyond the blue approaching the earth tones. What do you think? Is this totally a personal choice? Or is there a better way? I have had problems finding a definitive answer.

I have some running to do this afternoon and then am promising myself that I will sew the signatures of the book I am working on (the signatures have been waiting for me for more than a week). I am also planning to make some value sketches of the next watercolor painting I want to try.

What do you have planned for today? Are you taking time for yourself and/or those you love?



  1. I can see why you cropped your WIP. The long dark strip in the foreground was distracting. I love the soft colors of your watercolor painting. And thanks for the reminder to take some time for the people I love today. Life gets so hectic I sometimes forget.

  2. I don't like the crop as much. The problem, for me, is that it unbalances your composition. The only focal point and the only dark areas are now all concentrated on the left side of your image.

    If you could lighten the left area of the stream (is it a stream or a hedgerow? It's hard for me to tell blue from green on my screen), I think it would keep the piece balanced without being distracting.

    As for my plans today, I'm going to be trying to get things done but also making time for me - I just got a brand-new Kindle and I'm excited to be able to expand my reading options!

  3. I think your watercolor is pretty . . .I do love the cropped version. . . maybe you could sneak in with watercolor pencils (and therefore a minimum of water, to minimize buckling on that contrary paper) and add some darks for emphasis? Just a thought.

    I took my sweet mom to brunch this morning and for a much needed haircut. A lovely time was had by all :-)

  4. I was shocked when I saw the crop - visually speaking.

    I liked the original a lot and the crop takes away the dark areas that bring focus to the buildings.

    Puhlease - uncrop it!

    Today? I went to the dentist. The good news is she found no cavities;-)

  5. Get your hands on Nita Leland's book about color and how to set up your palette. Also Stephen Quiller who has extensive studies on color and the palette...if you have a color wheel this can help you set up. You want your compliments across from one another. I like to put yellow at the top, purple at the bottom, if you're using a round palette...Red at 9 o'clock, green at 3 o'clock, blue opposite it's compliment, orange. Nita Leland really gives great instruction...Her theory is right on and easy to understand.

  6. Beautifully done Vicki! Love to see it grow and I definitely prefer the uncropped version =)

  7. I put all the warm colours in my palette together and all the cool colours on the other side. Then I drew and painted my palette on some spare paper exactly how it appears with the colour's names and little signs indicating qualitites (transparency etc). That helps me avoid mixing muddy colours.
    Hope that helps!

  8. Ooh, I love Cathy's suggestion about her palette and the spare paper "cheat sheet" (my words, not hers). I can't decide about cropped vs uncropped. I think you should just go for it and decide when it's finished which you like best. hugs, nancy