Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stumbling blocks

I'm in my usual multi-tasking mode and have several paintings that I'm working on simultaneously.
I'm nearing completion of one portrait with another in the wings and a commission hot on its heels.I'm using watercolour and sort of fell into a technique that almost borders on pointillism.  I lay down the usual washes of colour but start adding to them with swatches of colour, allowing the viewer's eye to blend them optically.  This technique seems to give depth to skin tones rather than flat washes.

I am moving more towards impressionistic images in portraits.  I like the edginess of them and how they make you look twice.  I've never been drawn to 'sweet' portraits with pristine shading.  It smacks of chocolate box art and those paintings of innocent faced children in fancy frocks barefoot in the grass.  It may be the image of the monied class who want to depict their child as perfect, but its not for me.  I like a portrait to be a little different and yet represent the true personality of the sitter.

I need that push of a deadline to really get into production.  Without a deadline, even if self imposed, I tend to procrastinate.  Then suddenly, time is upon me and gives the incentive to get into action.  There's also a part of me that just loves having my time filled, so procrastination of one thing leads to production in another.

Production means forward movement and completion.  There are nearly always points in a painting that I start to lose interest in the process or the subject and need to concentrate to move through that phase to get to the end.

Stumbling blocks come in many forms in art and everyone has their own, often they are similar to others.  Procrastination, loss of inspiration, production blocks, the list goes on and on.  The common thread is that many people share these blocks and many get past them to continue producing art.


Manolo Lopez said...

Magnifico manejo de la acuarela.
He disfrutado con tus transparencias.
Un saludo

Cindi said...

janette.. this is very how is face has so much life in it.. will be coming back to see more thank you for sharing!..

Gary said...

I've been thinking all day about your post. Especially what you have to say about your technique. A lot of what you are doing now is where I think that I want to go with my work (especially the watercolor). Also, you always have some insight to the creative process that you share with your readers. With your permission I'd like to share some of these with my students when they become appropriate (with Seniors it is always appropriate).

Jeanette said...

Gracias. Estoy gozando con aquarela esta manera. Permite más libertad.

Thanks for your comments Cindi. I'm enjoying using watercolours this way.

Gary, I am my own contradiction in that in dry media I am so tight and controlled. But give me a paintbrush and I loosen up a lot. I figured I could use the same technique with watercolour as I do with oils for impressionism and it seems to work.

I'd love it if you want to share any of this with your students. Learning and growing is what its all about.

Teresa Mallen said...

Beautiful portrait Jeanette!

RHCarpenter said...

Jeannette, your pointillism style in watercolor is one I'd love to learn, too. I must try to remember to add those tip-of-the-brush dots to my portraits to add the depth. It really creates a different look in watercolor portraits that I like.