More strategies I’ll be using to get to quick, bold, no-line Direct Watercolor.
One of the easiest ways for me to end up with a no-good piece is to start out with the expectation that my end result will be good. One way to take the pressure off any one piece for me is this:
Strategy #3: Don’t Stop at One
Do more than one take on the same piece. Commit to it at the start. Starting off knowing I’ll do at least a second piece helps me loosen up. And, I can start with a second piece after my first wash is done and then come back and add those darkest and lightest bits when the paint is dry. I still create lots of smudges and blots, but it’s fun to do more than one take. And sketching a hot drink motivates me to be super quick so it doesn’t get cold.
I’ll do this often. With simpler subjects, it’s just to see something a different way (I don’t know if there’s one coffee sketch above I like better than the other: they’re both different).
But with a more complex subject, I’m still problem-solving with take#1 (yes, even when I do a small study, there’s still new challenges like introducing water and color). In this first sketch of these two women I did a little study , but then overworked the watercolor piece.
So I did one more. Getting the face and hair just right wasn’t important, I figured. What I wanted to capture was the feeling of them being deep in conversation. That helped me stop fussing details.
Remember yesterday’s post with the small study? Well, I posted one study and one direct watercolor, but here’s what I did in the hour I was in Los Gatos.
I started here, liked the light I managed to leave out in the direct watercolor, but didn’t like some of the murkiness from overworking.
So I took a break and did this one in my go-to style: Pen first, loose, not caring that the proportions were totally off.
Then I went back to working in direct watercolor again.
That’s what it takes sometimes, when I’m trying something less familiar. Do you ever do multiple takes on a scene? Does it help you?
I’ll add more strategies next week.
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