Monday, October 21, 2013

Mendocino WATERCOLOR?!!

During my recent trip to Ft. Bragg and Mendocino, only one of the group, Judy, used watercolors.  It was interesting to see her daily paintings.  Some 40 years ago, I did paint in watercolor, learning from books by John Pike and Charles Reid and other fine painters, and I've always liked it.  My artist friend Howard Rees paints in both oil and watercolor.  In fact, he does quite a few watercolor workshops which are very popular.  Howard and I have frequently discussed watercolor and he has encouraged me to give it another try. I've resisted a little bit, thinking that it would be an unnecessary  'detour', but each time I see his watercolor work, I'm tempted. 

Recently I found two books on pencil drawing the head and the figure  and I've been doing some of the beginning 'lessons' on drawing the head again(more on that in another post).  For some reason, drawing with the pencil made me think about watercolors and Judy's nice work from Ft. Bragg.  I have a small kit of watercolor paints and brushes and a few sheets of watercolor paper gathering dust in the studio, and I couldn't resist any longer.

Yesterday, I found the reference photo I took of the buildings along Main Street in Mendocino, dug up the watercolor stuff and did my first watercolors in several decades**.   What a lot of fun.  It's so incredibly different than painting in oils.  In some ways, it feels like sketching...very immediate and quick.  The colors are so bright and clean too...except where I overworked them!  Many forgotten lessons and techniques came back to me as I painted...most of them only after I had done it wrong!  Anyway, here's my watercolor attempt at some of the same buildings I painted in oil in Mendocino (previous post).  I can't wait to do some more!

Main Street, Mendocino   Watercolor approx. 11" x 15"

(**Well, that's not entirely true.  I took two watercolor workshops about two years ago.  One was a two-day workshop and the other, mercifully, only one day.  If anything, they dampened my enthusiasm rather than energized me.  I had purchased some new w/c supplies for the workshops, but packed them up afterward.  Fortunately they were still there yesterday, waiting and raring to go for a fresh start!)  

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

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