Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Wrestling with my watercolours today, feeling overwhelmed by the medium and my lack of control.

in progress
I've put this drawing on hold for the time being.

Since all my energy goes into learning by doing I decided to abandon attempts at getting a specific effect/result and just see what happened, so I've been experimenting a bit today with different ways of using the paint.

sketchbook page
Splashing paint on wet in wet, then adding detail with touches of paint and drawing with watercolour pencils.

Quick ink pen sketch with watercolour washes on top.

watercolour orchid
Paint and watercolour pencils.

I think I just need to keep gathering experiences with the paint, and eventually I will be able to make it do what I want in a specific image.


  1. Why do you feel you don't have control over the medium? You seem to have immense control over it - wonderful - and I love these door drawings you are now doing, seeing through the various planes, very luminous and also precise.

  2. When working I don't have proper control - the colours bleed and stain where I don't want them to (the water still regularly gets me), I have a lot of trouble keeping track of both colour and value at the same time (am still too much of a black and white person, and the colours confuse me), and I'm working in a very slow and painstaking way that is probably quite unnecessarily roundabout if I just knew more technique. The slowness makes me more likely to botch the colour/value thing, or just plain give up on a drawing, since I have trouble concentrating for that long and run out of patience.
    I want to do a series of door drawings/paintings, and this is where I feel there is a lot of craft in watercolour-painting that I don't master well enough yet. I think I should also probably experiment a bit more with other watercolour papers to find a better match. The good news is I got so irritated today that I did a whole series of images instead of just one or two! Now I just need another 6 months off work to get into things properly and start producing - you wouldn't happen to know a generous art lover with lots of money to spend? ;)

  3. Wow, seems to me like you are in full control, Ea! Beautiful!

  4. Your color choices and the interior with the rug are evocative of Carl Larsson--except in the 21st century. These are all just lovely.

  5. @Nina - thanks Nina, nowhere near the kind of control you have when you paint, but I guess I'll get there eventually if I keep practising!

    @Vicky - thank you, I've heard the Carl Larsson comparison before - must be the unmistakable effect of the Nordic light!

  6. O desenho é muito correto e as cores ilustrativas, o suficiente para criar a noção de uma orquidea num vaso.
    Mas de fato falta domínio e expontaneidade no uso da cor, o que faz com que ela seja apenas ilustrativa. Porém não revela nada de sua visão própria da orquidea.
    A mistura prévia das cores na paleta acaba por produzir esse efeito esmaecido, meio cinzento de pouca vitalidade. Ousar com cores puras, mesmo que a princípio pareçam absurdas e improváveis, pode produzir resultados surpreendentes.
    Um excelente mestre da cor é Eugene Delacroix. Observe como ele construía a cor em seus quadros.
    Perdoe a lingua portuguesa, é a única que sei. Se não entender nada, experimente o Google translate.
    Boa sorte
    Edilson Guglielmeli