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Processing the Process


This is how I went about creating my first watercolor painting in my painting class

The project was to pick from a variety of fruits and vegetables that he professor had brought in and to pick an object. Than to paint that  object. So on that note…

Step 1: Picking an Object

Something interesting yet understated

Step 2: Observing the Object

Come closer…closer…closer..NO! now you’re too close!

Step 3: Pick a Paint Pallet

This step was relatively easy. I just used differentiating amounts of water with the watercolor pigment to understand the varying tones and values within each color in my paint pallet. I found that certain colors, like “Terre Verde,” are extremely light and translucent. In the reverse “Pyere’s Gray” is extremely dark, even with lots of water added to its value.

Step 3: Pick a plan of Attack

During this step I studied both the medium and the object. This phase of my exploration was both fun and confusing. I have to admit that I did not know what I was doing and it was a learning process. I learned as I went along.

About the extent of my prior knowledge of watercolor was that I knew to start with the lights and to get progressively darker. This for me is working in the reverse of my process for painting with oil.

Step 4: Dive in?

Be ready to make mistakes. They are going to happen. Be prepared, they’re unavoidable.

Step 5: re-evaluate

So. What did we learn. Above is a more in depth study of the “object.”

As you can see I was still confused at this point as to what my “object” was. I still did not have a definite classification for my object. I did not know whether it was a fruit or a vegetable, let alone what kind of fruit or vegetable.

Regardless, I made a lot of progress between my first painting and the painting in my study.

Here’s a close up.


After we finished our paintings, we (the class) had to hang them up on display and discuss them in a critique. We were to pin up our paintings, our pallets, as well as any other material that we thought relevant. I also put up my studies along with my painting.  No one really commented  on my work other than to complement my use of line as way to shape an color my object.

I learned both from my experiences and the experiences shared from others in the class. I learned things like there is as such thing as a too much water, the size of the brush matters (the smaller the brush the more detail you get),  and watercolor is going to do what it wants to do, not what you want it do do.

The biggest thing I have to work on is patience, waiting for one layer to dry before moving to another.

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