Sunday, January 26, 2014

Turn of Fortune

"Turn of Fortune" - 15"x15"

I finally finished my painting in progress, so with two completed works, I set up the umbrella lights to photograph "Turn of Fortune." I'm so glad to finally share this one since I am still pleased with how it came out.

The subject, as you might be able to tell now, is part of the impressive mechanism that makes up a massive bank vault door. This vault was installed decades ago, when it was still important to visually impress the banking public. Vault doors in more modern bank buildings are downright boring in I'm glad to see this shiny monster in action.

As I explained in an earlier blog post, the hard work with this painting was in the early going....huge wet washes running all over the place and every time I would try to adjust something I'd end up with blooms and backruns intruding in areas that I thought were finished. Stressful indeed.

I understand why there is so much movement toward the "pouring" concept in watercolor -- huge areas can be evenly covered with pigment with little worry about blooms and backruns because large sections are methodically protected by sections and layers of masking fluid. To see the final results of the pouring method, check out a section of Leslie Redhead's blog that features her poured watercolor works:

As you can see from Leslie's work, the results can be stunning, with deep contrasts and luminous passages. I considered that method as a way of attacking this subject, in fact. But I really don't like using masking fluid - mostly because I'm lazy and I don't like the mess. So after much thought,  I only used masking for the bright little highlights in this painting, and took my rubs as I fought to keep my washes in check with large flat brushes.

In this case, I think the fight was worth it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Our Wheel of Fortune

Since this painting is too large for me to easily scan and assemble on my little flatbed scanner (scan area of 8.5x11), I have to photograph it, which requires setting up umbrella light stands, etc. And that requires moving most of the furniture in my small room. So the final image for this painting will have to wait for a while....hopefully when I have another painting or so finished, so I can make the most of the elaborate lighting setup.

So, I snapped some really awful photos with my cell phone camera, and tried to do a rough color adjustment on them...but the tones are really off and are washed out. So I'll have to content myself with posting these little snippets of the final painting for now. Let's say that I am pleased with the final product.