February 2nd, 2021

art journal

The painting that almost wasn't

A flurry of business and an overnight guest meant that my gouache attempts were put on the back burner for a bit.  They had already been edged there by me picking a motif that was, I discovered, NOT something I wanted to commit to doing "right."  I chose the following three Egyptian motifs to mesh together into one illustration and set about meticulously spacing out the lines of the geometric border.

Disgust and frustration ensued.  I knew there was no way I was going to be able to enjoy the process, much less successfully make Perfectly Perfect straight, well-spaced lines.  Instead of scrapping it, I decided to freehand the whole and see where it took me.  That freed me up to try different brushes (note to self:  get some new brushes and TAKE CARE OF THEM!) and see the application of each.

You can tell that I did the left side first and relaxed more and got better at the spacing once I tackled the right side. I should have done fatter stems and made more, more regular stem "hairs."

The colors, being fewer, were easier to deal with this time around, even if the photo doesn't truly show that.  I learned that I need to decide beforehand when I want to play up gouache's opacity and when I want to take advantage of more transparency (the greens).  I also saw once again that upon photographing and enlarging the motif, my eyes (and lighting) are doing me a disservice in seeing the true details, notably the blue-green in the sepals and the yellowy-orange layer in the pinkish blossom.  It is not very evident in the photo above, but it is there.  This means that next time, before painting, I might photograph my subject first to get a better feel for it. That or break out a lamp instead of using the overhead light in the kitchen.