I think I have two basic problems. First, watercolor is a devilishly difficult medium, and even after all this time, I don't feel I've "gotten it" yet. I'm waiting for a miracle to happen, that magical moment when I can say, "Look Mom, I'm doing it!" But so far, all I can say is "Mom, send a little of your talent down here, will ya?"
Painted with a primary color triad
For the past couple of weeks, we've been doing "triad" paintings, where you do a painting with only three colors. And then you vary the three colors and make one or more additional ones. These are quite small. The first one is a complementary triad using the primary colors. I think the petals are stubby and misshapen; I need to smooth the background a bit and add more texture.
Here's the other one, using three contiguous colors (gold, burnt orange, and rose madder). The background is most definitely not finished -- I need to blend the colors and then add some washes.
The other problem is what my teacher tells me almost every time: Don't be so timid! Be Bold! I realize this is a problem because I get hung up on getting in every detail of whatever it is I'm painting, and I work it and rework it too much. If I actually had any affinity for this, I think I would do botanical illustration; then I could indulge my desire to be very detailed.
Does anyone who is actually good at watercolor have any tips for me? I'm trying this book in the hope that it will help me loosen up:
You can find it on Amazon
In this book he shows you step by step how you create a "realistic abstract" -- a picture that you can see something in, but that is not finely detailed:
Painting by Kees van Aalst
I'd like to be able to do this kind of thing -- I think going through the process could be kind of freeing. So I'll give it a go, though maybe not until after Open Studios.
What do you think? (I'm not fishing for compliments -- to me, those pictures look as if they were done by a 2nd grader.) Do you do watercolor? Do you find it challenging?