Watercolor Leaking Into Oil

"Flat Tops"
oil on canvas panel, 8" x 10"
As a watercolorist, one must be pretty sure of what one is going to do and how he will accomplish it before lifting the brush. There is a lot of room for improvisation with watercolor, but there isn’t the luxury of covering mistakes and continuing. It is far from a one shot deal, but the painter must work in exact reverse of the oil painter. Instead of working from dark to light as in oil, the watercolorist must carefully avoid dark passages until the very end.

This means that strong decisions about where one is to put the light values and how one will structure and compose the dark passages must be made in advance of the painting.

I learned early to make value sketches. You’ve seen some of these the last few posts. I cannot help doing it at times. It is nearly a pastime in and of itself.

As in watercolor, when the painter concentrates their thoughts on how the value patterns will be structured, minutia is omitted. The painting boils down to good shape making and a sound pattern of value. And the result is strong, simplifications of a scene. That is, I suppose, the art of it.

The last few paintings have been made directly from my sketches without referring to the subject at all.

I guess my watercolor discipline is leaking into the oils. . . . .and I think I like it. There is a directness and a freshness that I think I see in it. More will tell. So, suppose I better paint some more, eh? :p-)