Trial and error painting Automatic translate
Instead of literally copying and obediently submitting to a set of well-known painting rules, introduce an element of chance into your work. Discard the pre-established postulates, prevailing stamps and give yourself complete freedom, using the endless possibilities of watercolor paints.
Starting work on a new picture, I clearly foresee its development in several directions and carefully examine each of them. My painting is the result of my trial and error method. I do not make sketches. The lack of methodology is the basis of unlimited freedom for the artist. Having refused strict adherence to the standards and rules of any technique, I can make decisions while working on a painting. The process of painting opens up countless possibilities before me. Taking "trial" as a painting style, trial and error, the artist must show great patience. Painting requires more time than the process of "bearing" the idea of the picture. I constantly redo the compositional parts of the picture, using a brush to solve problems. It can be very difficult to go from the beginning of work to the moment when I could consider the picture finished, as I always try to find a way to improve it in something. However, in my opinion, the advantages of this style of painting are much greater than the disadvantages. On a piece of paper, I am able to physically work out and solve all the dilemmas of painting that have arisen and create a positive, convincing picture.
I try to develop a discerning attitude towards business, based on continuous self-improvement, so I strive to find ways to improve the composition. Some of my things in the process of work from the moment the painting began to its actual completion change so radically that they turn into completely new, unexpected ones. For me, this is the true joy of the artist’s craft - careful study and color adjustment on paper. Despite the fact that the beginning of work on the painting, as well as its completion, brings the artist a lot of delightful, unique moments and deep feelings, I am most intrigued by the process of painting itself - an exciting journey into the unknown.
As an artist - an abstractionist, I do not engage in literal transmission of nature. Most of my works are born in the imagination, which is constantly in need of nourishment, development and stimulation. In search of inspiration, I visit museums and art exhibitions, and also take hundreds of photographs. Constantly practicing, I write still lifes, I work in the open air and use any given opportunity for painting. I study on the material of my own works, as well as other artists. Having decided what exactly I want to tell in my picture, I try to determine by what means this goal can be achieved.
Of course, I do not rely on everything solely on occasion. I am well aware of the rules for choosing a color scheme and building a composition. I constantly read literature on this topic in order to understand how these rules can be used in my practice more effectively and how to make them work in my interests. Having been engaged in painting for 30 years, I found an intuitive stylistic approach that allows you to correct compositional mistakes in the process.
Despite the intriguing and defiantly complex nature of the work in this manner, this is a fascinating and grateful style of painting. If you decide to adapt the trial and error method, stock up on paper. Regardless of your giftedness, natural talent, or other circumstances, the chances that the first attempt will be successful are, frankly, small. Remember that the necessary corrections can always be made, especially if you work with acrylic paints. The surface of the paper can be covered with a gesso primer, thereby creating a new coating, and the failed work can be used as collage elements. The only thing you have to overcome is a feeling of fear, nervousness and embarrassment.
The evolution of abstract form
Recently, I completed the work “Remembering Acadia” (68.6 x 68.6) an abstract thing that captures the essence and most characteristic natural qualities of my beloved coast in Maine. But it was the painting process that served as a means of conveying the essence of my style. Work was started on the basis of 73.7 x 106.7, but its final format was reduced to 68.6 x 68.6. What was originally conceived and started as a lyrical landscape with birches in the foreground, as a result, turned into a seething marine motif. Previously conceived snow masses in a birch grove turned into violent splashes of sea waves. The process of introducing such fundamental transformations helps me determine the direction in which, in my opinion, the picture should develop. As a rule, I am extremely pleased with the result.
Faced with insurmountable difficulties, I am forced to change something in the picture, and here for me all the means are good. When the original dimensions of the base were not satisfied, I used parts of the mat in the form of the letter “L” to search for a different composition format. I changed the aspect ratio of the pieces of passepartout in anticipation of the so familiar “bell”, indicating that the choice was right. As a result, the picture, in my opinion, significantly won in a reduced, square format. She took another step in the process of making changes: now the composition of the painting has also been reevaluated. It seemed to me that the intended shape of white could be modified into a waveform. Looking through the photographs of Acadia, I realized that the picture will be successful and more convincing if it is processed into a seascape. Fortunately, a white shape was already outlined where the main bright spot of the wave crest was. I got lucky.
The trial and error method is interesting primarily because of the opportunity to experience the joy of unexpected discoveries. The hope that the next picture will be the best encourages me to further search. Follow me: I will lead you through the stages of work on the painting “Remembering Acadia - 2” (73.7 x 101.6) the second of the series devoted to the landscapes of Acadia.
Step 1. Fill the picture with light
The use of high quality paper is an extremely important aspect of painting and a condition for achieving a good result. I chose BFK Rives graphic paper. You do not have to intensively scrape its surface: the content of the adhesive binder in its structure is reduced to create the right balance between the absorption of the dye and the ability of the paper to hold it on the surface. This type of paper is characterized by a high degree of smoothness, which allows you to create great textured effects.
She began work, like most of her experimental things, by accidentally spraying paint on the surface of the paper and creating a golden ocher fill (Mascara made by FW) in about one third of the sheet area. The fill introduced warmth and light. So I laid the foundation for the light emanating from within the picture. I applied the initial fillings very carefully, trying to keep some sections of paper unpainted, which subsequently form a cascade of the lightest tones. I use these areas in order to distribute the viewer’s attention throughout the space of the picture.
Peach pink tones in the upper right corner are painted with fillings of alizarin raspberry and Neapolitan yellow (produced by Winsor & Newton). Then, on the surface of this fill, I placed pieces of torn and crumpled wax paper and waited for the paint to dry completely. I always prudently vary the shapes of crumpled pieces of paper and keep “calm” sections of the picture to create expressive contrasts with spots of intricate textured effects. Then she applied a mixture of ultramarine blue, magenta (Winsor & Newton liquid watercolor), antelope paints (mascara produced by FW), reddish-brown (Dr. P. N. Martin) and turquoise (acrylic made by FW). Trying to create attractive textured effects, sprinkled some areas with salt and after drying the paint slightly cleaned the surface with sandpaper.
Additional textured spots were created when using a spray - aerosol from a mouth freshener to slightly muffle a reddish-brown tone. With a small amount of diluted bleach, she barely hinted at the presence of water in the upper part of the large rocky form in blue (middle of the right side of the picture).
Step 2. Creating dark tones of contrast and certainty
For areas of dark tones I took acrylic paints - cadmium red dark, burnt sienna and ultramarine blue mixed with a gesso primer. The kneading was done in a rather thin layer, but I went over the dark strokes with a piece of toilet paper to lighten them slightly. (Scott paper towels are best suited for this). She applied a thicker version of the same mix of colors in the lower left corner of the composition, and then prescribed the main forms with this color. I prefer to “deal” with dark tones in the early stages of work, in order to be able to reasonably judge the degree of contrast in my paintings.
Step 3. Control over vulnerable areas
I came to the conclusion that there was a rather urgent need to somehow strengthen the base in the lower right corner of the picture, i.e. firmly connect the elements into a single semantic node. I put golden ocher mixed with gesso primer on this area, and applied the finest strokes of this paint throughout the field of the picture, in fact, only faint hints of this color. Then, having decided that too dark and dull tones were collected in the lower left part of the picture, she prescribed this place with a mixture of acrylic paints - green Hooker, alizarin raspberry and white gesso primer. Removed excess paint with an old credit card. I registered some fragments of white space with this color, using wax paper and wrapping plastic to create a texture.
Step 4. Transfer of elements of active movement
A gesso diluted primer splashed onto the surface of the paper; in the process of droplets falling on the base, “streams” of water spray were added to imitate the natural flow of water. In addition, she inflicted this batch from a site reminiscent of a water mass in the center on the right to the top of a rocky formation of blue color. The surviving white piece on the shape of a blue stone in the center on the right turned into pink.
Using alcohol and an empty bottle from under the sprayer - Chloraseptic spray (it proved to be excellent at work), sprayed elements resembling air bubbles on water bodies. Since I was not quite happy with the yellowish oblong section in the middle of the picture, a mixture of acrylics - blue ceruleum and burnt sienna (Liquitex company), mixed with gesso primer, gave it a color variety. A gesso liquid primer passed over the blue mold, spraying the surface of the paper with alcohol to create forms in the form of air bubbles.
Step 5. Final Smears
Finally she added dark tones where the picture needed to be enhanced. I changed the contour of an elongated shape in the central part of the work and mirrored the shape of the stone directly behind this shape to break the space even deeper.
I used a linear brush to draw thin lines along the entire surface of the picture in order to connect its components into a single whole and direct the viewer’s eyes from one compositional node to another. The outline in the upper left corner enlivens this completely white area with a splash of blue. Lines are a great way to break the space; even a small line can leave a strong impression and generate a serious energy boost. The thin outline of blue in the lower right part of the picture somehow inexplicably supports the shape of a heavy stone. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that this element of painting - the usual line - is more effective if applied in moderation.
She applied a white speck in the lower left part of the picture, using the gesso white primer: this will help to distribute the viewer’s attention throughout the work space. Were it not for this emphasis, the picture would have lost the right balance. I found that the dark form in the lower left part of the composition without this necessary addition seems too large, boring and lifeless. Writing down each separate element, the artist as if collects a mosaic. Each new object should be organically connected with others, built into the overall picture so that all elements take their place, merging into a single harmonious whole. Working on this picture in stages, I was able to identify the most successful pieces. In addition, annoying errors and mistakes became apparent: some compositional elements were ineffective, and the painting process was longer than it would have been if it had not been necessary to constantly remake some fragments of the picture. But my patience and hard work were fully rewarded: I was able to create a picture in which all the elements interact with each other, forming a complete whole. I also discovered that it is sometimes difficult to formulate why the picture turned out; but you are sure that it is so.
Unexpected transformation of the picture
At the beginning of the work on the painting “Remembering Acadia,” I did not know that I would finish it as a seascape. This is the extraordinary appeal of my style: it gives the joy of unexpected discoveries. For example, the stormy sea wave breaking on the rocks in the upper right corner was originally conceived as a snow mass in a birch grove. I like to work out fundamental decisions directly on a piece of paper.
Never throw away "waste"
The painting “The water’s edge and the light influence of Braque” (74.9 x 106.7) underwent numerous changes in the process of creation. The most important of them appeared in the upper right corner of the work. At the beginning there was a realistically executed wave. However, it seemed to me that the realistic element creates a contrast with the basic - abstract - nature of the picture. Looking through unused pieces from other works in search of new ideas, I came across a green leaf from which a small circle was cut out at one time. This inspired me to create a similar shape in the upper right corner, which brought an additional abstract coloring to the work. This seemingly insignificant change helped to assemble all the compositional parts of the picture into a single whole.
The painting “Falling Water” (54.6 x 74.9) was made on the basis of a large, significantly cropped composition. Holding a sheet of paper in an upright position, I splashed a blue color on its surface. At the moment of dropping droplets of paint on the base, water was added sprayed to create the impression of a raging waterfall. In addition, I used salt to get an expressive texture. This painting is from photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright’s house. I was bribed by the structural corner elements, as well as the geometry of the house and the flow of water, which was reflected in the powerful angular shapes. The final result opened for me a slightly different view of nature.
Strengthening the spotlight center
It is very important for me that each new picture is different from the others. In the composition “Winter Sea” (55.9 x 76.2) I wanted to show large, calm areas with a powerful compositional center - a point of focus. I managed to convey the severity and monolithicity of the rocky formations in the plot with the help of minimal modeling. Pay attention to the strong contrast of light and dark spots in the center of viewer’s attention. Despite the fact that large, simplified forms were used, the glazing technique with numerous layers introduced revitalization and diversity within the limits of each form. The center of viewer’s attention was supplemented by collage elements. Earlier I tried to simulate the shapes of this area with paints, but then I decided that the pieces of the collage would look much more attractive. Therefore, I glued the elements of the collage, and on this work on the painting was completed.
About the artist
Pat Dewes is part of the The Guild of Creative Art Guild of Art in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. She is the recipient of numerous awards, a member of two creative associations - the American and National Watercolor Societies. In 1995, she was awarded the American Watercolor Society Award - High Winds Medah. In painting, Pat Dewes tries to convey the essence of natural phenomena, stone and water. These are the constantly recurring themes of her work; they are a red thread through her work.
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