Thursday, April 26, 2012

Intermediate Watercolor 4/26/12  Hold on tight to this, so you can let go of everything else.

In the interest of discovering which features of your subject are essential and which are optional, it is important to have a clear ideaa of what you want to emphasize in your interpretation. How you decide what to include and what to edit out depends on the feeling you want your painting to convey.

In the photo above, for example, you might be looking more at form than content. You could be especially interested in abstracting the shapes, which might lead to simplifying the complex intersection of the big triangles of light and dark. In such a case it would probably be best to eliminate all the curlicues.

If, however, your purpose were to comment on a surprisingly light-hearted attitude toward a potentially somber subject, you might want to emphasize the playful distribution of the shapes along that same intersection. Exaggerate the tilt of the verticals. Bring back those curlicues!

Once you have a basis for deciding how the different elements of the subject will be treated, you know where you need to be careful, and, thus, where you can be carefree. The more you can let go of accuracy, the less you need to correct. In most cases, relatively little of the scene really needs to be tightly rendered. Give control back to the paint as much as possible. It's directly related to how much fun you have painting.

In preparation for your next painting, take note of what you need to hold on to, and what you can let go of. Be perpared to tll us how you made those decisions.

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