Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fast and loose

There are many different styles within watercolor.

Some artists prefer to work very very loosely, letting the colors flow and mingle, with resulting lost and found edges of the subject matter.

Other artists are very tight and controlled, creating crisp, sharp edges. I tend to be of the later rather than the former persuasion, but I took a different approach with "Blooming Bloomers".

As I said in earlier posts, I delight in these flowers because of their buds which remind me of some kind of early 1900's women's fashion - maybe bloomers? Even when the flower is in full bloom, the bud is intact.

In solving the problem of how to showcase this subject, I decided that I needed to work more loosely, since the flowers are always in a tangle of leaves, stems, buds, flowers, and other vegetation...a lovely chaotic mess, not lending itself to tight control.

You can see the difference between the styles in "Blooming Bloomers" and "Out on a Limb". Click on different parts of "Blooming Bloomers" and you will see the lost and found edges.

Even though "Out on a Limb" had an initial wash that was wet in wet, resulting in a loose background, the subject matter was applied on dry paper resulting in very crisp, clear edges, which was what I wanted for this particular subject.

This week I will be working on a Centennial Trail painting featuring thistles, leaves, and a robin. If you scroll down to previous posts you'll see the photos that I'll be using (no photo of a robin - had to use stock photo). I'm pretty excited about this one. You can probably guess which watercolor style I will use.

Thanks so much for your supporting comments! I'm so excited to share this journey with you and I appreciate your encouragement more than I can say.


  1. I love them both, though I'm a little more taken by the Bloomers. I think I'm always drawn to looser styles because I have a fairly tight style myself.

  2. I have been so caught up in looking forward to each new picture, that I lost the fact of the time and energy you are putting into each one. Most people don't have the opportunity to watch an artist develop her style. I, too, am drawn to the looser style- not abstract, but not a photograph, either.

  3. Bloomers gets a vote from me too! I love the loose style, but at the same time I think that Out on a Limb is amazing. I guess you've got talent to spare, my friend.