|"Morning Light" watercolor on 140# paper ©Laura Gable 2012|
This is a watercolor in a very realistic style I did last month (with just a few strokes of reflected light added today). It was painted from a photograph, with a few liberties taken in the background and shadows. If I were to observe this from life, I would discover that there is more to be seen in the dark shadow areas. Watercolor has the wonderful capability of blending two colors together by themselves without any assistance from the brush. That's my favorite part of working with watercolors, much different from the way oils behave.
On another note, I'm reading a book called "Learn Watercolor the Edgar Whitney Way," a distinguished artist, who in his day trained many of our current masters. He discusses the value of drawing, which I thought was relevant, since we've got so many diligent sketchers here...
"In his last class at the Pratt Institute where he had taught for so many years, high on the front wall of the classroom, as large as he possibly could, he wrote the word D R A W. Then he underlined the word and took the line down the wall across the floor to the opposite wall, and up as high as he could, he wrote "Good luck, goodbye."
It was his way of ramming into his students' heads the importance of drawing. He felt passionately that drawing was the absolute foundation of visual art. "Without draftsmanship--the discipline endured and the mastery achieved--your work will have limited context. It will lack the essential quality of ease and the sense of power."
He told his students, the way to learn to draw was to draw everything, everywhere in sketchbooks, the more frequent, the more fast thinking and skill one gains. Ten minutes ten times a day is better than six hours once a week. Great draftsmen were eliminators, putting down only essentials, and this skill can be learned with a sketchbook because the limited time teaches you what is important and what isn't. You have to discipline yourself until drawing everywhere and at all times becomes a habit.
Remember when you're sketching, you're not after results. The drawing is not important--the experience is. Your emotion and your degree of understanding leak through the pencil or brush onto the paper as you make your stroke."