The latest Watercolor Artist, October 2009 has an article by Donna Zagotta titled Watercolor Chronicles that has really challenged me lately.
She mentions ways of journaling, thinking through your process and challenges for yourself. One of which is doing a series or one painting several times which got me to thinking about my latest portrait of Gracie. I have already painted her 2 times and the second one is my favorite. I was challenged by a dear friend to take a closer look at my second attempt. We discussed the prep work that goes into a painting and the method that Donna Zagotta uses. It was suggested to take a black & white copy of the finished work and compare it to my value study. This turned out to be a Good idea !!
This is the bl & w of my latest attempt. It doesn't go beyond the # 3 on the grey scale which is too light for a finished painting in my opinion. At least for me. It was an eye opener for me to do this. I don't think I have ever looked at my finished work this way before.
When I saw my value study it proved to need more depth too. There was a lot that I liked about the painting but when I saw it in black and white, it wasn't exactly what I expected to see...not what I thought I said either. It looks weak, very watered down. I am not sure how much contrast is needed but I know it needs more. Even my values in the study was too whimpy...so begins my growth...
How far do I go to show more interest and keep the softness that I like in the painting? I do like the gentle transition of colors, the softness of the emotion, the telling of the story between the little girl and her bear. What happens if a wider range of values are added all over? Time to go back to the drawing board and work on my value study, adding more depth, more definition in the hair and around the eyes. The bear I want to look soft and cuddly, how much do I need to add? and how much is enough? I know that I have a tendency to add too much. It is easier for me to do this with the grey of the pencil but when it comes to adding color is where I struggle.
Will it still be my style of painting when I finish? The only way to find out is to do it again and again until I learn how to say what I want to say, pushing myself to go deeper....keep telling myself it's only paper...the only way to grow and learn...I can do this.
So many unanswered questions !!!