Stepping up To The Job


"miroir d' eau"
watercolor, 22 x 30 inches
This is the first real attempt at making a painting of this subject after many practice sessions sketching, fiddling with the brush and silhouettes, value studies and all sorts of seemingly unproductive ‘time wasters.’

I can say, without hesitation, that all this practice has set up several different ideas and has bolstered my confidence to attack this subject with a loose approach. And it has alerted me as to where the bombs are buried in the path to completion . . . .and there are many, as I have learned.

Values . . . .this subject behaves like a backlit subject, but the light comes from the reflected sky in the floor of this ‘fountain.’ Incidentally, the floor is black granite on which there is 1/2 inch of water. The reflections are incredible! I have learned that there must be a value comparison between what value is in the background and the figure . . . .the darker the background the lighter the silhouette. Conversely, the lighter the background, the darker the figure. Multiple sources and bounces of light make this a very challenging painting subject which holds enormous potential for some dazzling images.

Color is lost in the figure and details disappear in back lighting.

Clothing shape and figure attitude say much . . .and accuracy isn’t always necessary . . .it is the impression that matters.

The large shape of the buildings in the rear also make for an interesting shape, but must be toned down to not call attention . . .with a cool to warm temperature transition left to right. The top edge of the buildings tell the story . . .not the building faces.

Having said all that, It’s time to step up to the job. I have more changes to make and will be making more of these in the next few weeks to become intimately acquainted with the subject and lighting. This is the first.

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