View Full Version : Chinatown.....but not as I meant it :(

04-25-2003, 12:45 PM
Anyone who reads the Daily Wash will know that, having started the Challenge 1 Project..... Ive had real problems trying to do just one painting myself since January............. I think I have started 5 Chinatowns so far................... scrubbed each of them under the tap at least once, and torn up two (paper so worn couldn't even use back !)

At last I have sort of completed one.......... after 3 scrubbings and lifting most of the paint off several times.

I was aiming for something light bright and loose. what I offer is something dark gloomy and geometric.

I have not put it in the project yet as it is well past closing time but at least I feel I have produced something..... and what the hell, I enjoyed the process. Be as rude as you like....... I dont think youll find anything duff I haven't already.......if you can find even the tiniest genuine kindly comment........... that would be nice.

NO idea where to go from here..... paintwise.......... but will set the challege judgement going any moment now :D


04-25-2003, 12:59 PM
I wrote you a nice post just now and it disappeared when I tried to send it, so I'm trying again.

I don't know what the "painting in your head"looked like, but I like this. It doesn't show the hustle and bustle of Chinatown, but it is a pleasing composition, with good geometric shapes, and a nice feel to it.

I am frequently disappointed when the paintings on my paper don't come close to matching the paintings in my head, but when I show them to someone else, they only see the painting on the paper and can't see where it fell short. Sometimes I put a painting in a drawer for a while, and when I take it out it looks much better than I remembered. :-)

Don't be so hard on yourself. You have something nice here, and you can always paint the Chinatown in your head another time.


04-25-2003, 01:02 PM

I'm too new to watercolors (and art, in general, for that matter) to provide you with much in the way of constructive comments. However, I don't find it gloomy. I rather like the colors--more "muted" than "gloomy". I find the texture especially interesting--it's appears almost like it was painted on a sandy surface or tightly woven cloth (at least from the post).

From looking at the "face" of the figure, I can visualize the person looking up to the left (of the painting), through he flags, to the empty window--maybe something in the window or on the window sill??

My two cents...for what it's worth. I still like it.


04-25-2003, 01:06 PM
Well done Jaytee, its been quite a saga :D

Bet you're glad to have got this one out of the way!


04-25-2003, 01:06 PM
Jaytee, this is lovely! It has good rhythm and the palette is pleasing. I can sympathize with your frustration over not having the outcome match what's going on in your head. The solution? Pick up those brushes and do another painting. Do something else this time. Later, you can come back and try again.

I like it!:)


04-25-2003, 01:13 PM
Ditto to Yorky and VestalQueen's posts! I'm lazy:rolleyes:


04-25-2003, 01:15 PM
What a lot of comforting and wise words.... thank you all so much.... pleased its not quite as dire as I thought

Michelle.............. thanks for taking the time to repeat yourself.........I appreciate that :) .... and perhaps I will have another go at the one in my head one day :D

Darren............ glad you dont find it gloomy........... the texture is partly thanks to the fact that the well scrubbed surface is more like felt than w/c paper :D but yes, I did texture it since the paint was on so thick and dark, I had to lift more off :D

Doug......... too right next stop the Darbyshire waterfall :evil: :evil: :evil:

Erin............ yes, like falling off a horse, I think Id better get back on and try something else soon :)

I feel quite touched by your responses.............. this is JUST what WC! is all about isnt it :o

Joni St. Martin
04-25-2003, 01:15 PM

This is a facinating painting to me. I find the design of the subject matter and the texture of the painting so pleasing to the eye. I don't see it as gloomy at all. It isn't "bright", as the values seem to be rather dark, not many light values, but nonetheless, I find it a very nice painting. Your colors are wonderful.



04-25-2003, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by artmom
Ditto to Yorky and VestalQueen's posts! I'm lazy:rolleyes:


Lyn LOL ! and thankyou :)

04-25-2003, 01:18 PM
It is geometric.........but most cityscapes are...........doesn't detract from being a good painting.........I like it.......

04-25-2003, 01:19 PM
Wow! Cant keep up :D

Thank you Joni. .........and AL !

When Rod & I get the poll sorted, youll see the other versions without the hassle of going through an enormous thread :D

04-25-2003, 01:56 PM
Well... you wanted constructive criticism...

You have just nicely recovered after that bite.
You haven't been at your best to say the least because of it.
The painting is absolutely lovely.
The pallette is absolutely lovely. (In fact, I love it)
The geometrics and "feel" is absolutely lovely.
The texture is absolutely lovely.

Just because it isn't what you intended, do not diminish what it is - a beautiful picture that is telling a story filled with interest and a little mystery...

Quit the negative attitude... :evil: :evil: :evil: You are sooo talented.

Get painting something else - You are sooo talented.:D :D :D

04-25-2003, 02:18 PM
CharM.......... you overwhelm me :o

I look at this picture and think...." well I suppose its the best of a really bad bunch but its really c**p"................

Guess I should switch off my shoulder critic for a while, post whatever turns up and let you guys have your say. who know.... I might even develop a style...

but what if its one, like this, that I dont like ?:eek: :eek: :eek:

04-25-2003, 02:37 PM
Oh... oh...oh... I didn't mean to hurt your feelings!!! I wanted you to know that your work is beautiful!

One painting does not make a "style"...

And what is that anyway??? We each have a comfort zone and tend to paint within those boundaries... Once in awhile we stretch... It may get a little uncomfortable, but we always learn "stuff" along the way...

Frankly, from what you've mentioned in this thread... you've learned quite a bit from this exercise... That's a good thing... The next one you do, if you do a similar theme, will come a little easier to you...

Until that time, paint something you ARE comfortable with... Produce another beautiful work of art and you'll feel so much better... You CAN do this!!!

Rose Queen
04-25-2003, 03:16 PM
Jaytee, it's hard to look fairly at a work when you had something particular in mind, but put this aside for a week or two and then come back to it, when what you expected has faded, and I'm sure you will like it...I sure do! Oh, and give that shoulder critic a one-way ticket to Timbuktoo!

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Margie L
04-25-2003, 03:30 PM
JaTee-- I concure with all that has been said above.

Given all that and Given your talent, I think that it would be very interesting to see you do this same painting in gouche or even "acrylic" Paints. The simplified design is so good. I can hear the flags snapping the in the breeze. You already have a good compostion. Streach your creativity and try another medium. You might be surprised with the results.


04-25-2003, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by CharM
Oh... oh...oh... I didn't mean to hurt your feelings!!! I wanted you to know that your work is beautiful!

Oh dear.......... the misunderstandings that arise on this wonderful medium............ the :o and words that followed meant I was embarrassed at being so flattered. ..........feelings the opposite of hurt.......... got a lovely boost from you............ thankyou.............sorry I wasnt clear about that ............

Thank you also Margie and Rose Queen.

04-25-2003, 05:41 PM
I like it! It reminds me of pastels because of the unique texture. Very interesting. :)

It may not be how you meant it, but with the SARS scare and news stories of people avoiding Chinatown like the plague, it's a pretty accurate depiction and well-timed. The gloomy colors, the empty streets, and the lack of a face all add to this tone. At least, that's what I see.

I'm glad you didn't give up! Great job. :D

04-25-2003, 05:56 PM
There's nothing wrong with this Jaytee. I certainly know how I struggled with this subject. I think you did just fine. We are often more critical of our own works then others are. Be kind to yourself.

04-25-2003, 05:59 PM
You're so right... Duh.... Stressful work day coupled with menopausal moments... :D :D :D

04-25-2003, 08:37 PM
Turned out great jaytee!!!! All that scrubbing gave it a velvety and moody look HA! I like it!!!!

Little Old Lady
04-25-2003, 08:45 PM
Glad to see you out of the garden and back painting! I agree with all that has been sain. Ilike it.

lyn lynch
04-25-2003, 08:59 PM
Jaytee, it was the antibiodics running your body amuck; they always do. I don't know or why you would continue to work so darn hard at this. Why not take a bit of a break and do a little flowfee, and then come back to it.

This comp looks wonderful to me, its styling, it's curveliner, it's got purple for pete's sake. I think it's a successful work.

So successful, in fact, that I would like to see you do the same work, still in watercolor but using all transparent colors. Could use a 9 x 12, even. See how much light you can bring into it. Compare the two. Let us see them side by side, see if we learn anything, too. Once the drawing is complete, do not refer to this one until the new one is done. Interesting experiment.

Better yet, the board may be a bit slower in the summer months so this drawing of yours might be a good project idea.

04-26-2003, 06:49 AM
CharM.......... one of the great things about ageing......... no more menopausal moments.........just senior ones :evil:

Uschi............ perhaps I should make scrubbing my signature :D

JoAnn. who said I was out of the garden........ just that its raining :D

Fookie.............. maybe purple is sign of aforesaid senior moments:D Sadly, these WERE all transparent colours .............. I can work miracles and make transparency disappear..... no patience to let thin glazes dry :( Wonderful transparency like yours is what I aim for ........maybe one day ? Have the magic book now so well see. Please translate 'Flowfee' :D

Thanks for the support all ................ much appreciated........... itching to paint something else now.......... :clap: :clap:

04-26-2003, 07:45 AM
jaytee, re no patience to let the paint dry - neither do I HA!


04-26-2003, 09:29 AM
Uschi....LOL..... I get the hairdryer out......... then get so carried away I forget to use it :D :( :o

04-26-2003, 10:36 AM

Though not what you had in mind when you started this painting, after all your travails with it, it has turned out very nicely.

It looks like a geometric abstract of a city, and the figure gives it a grounding. Since you didn't put a face on him, he is an abstract too.

Your palette looks very nice and the soft, muted texture works well (even if it came from scrubbing, it looks good).

Put this away for a couple of days in a dark closet, then take it out and give it a fresh look so you can see it the way we are seeing it.

Don't be so hard on yourself, although I can sympathize, I've ditched my second painting in as many days. They just don't look like anything, nothing interesting about them.

Got three new reference photos out of my stash and will give them a try to see if I can come up with something decent. Like you, I've got to keep working at it until something good happens. :angel:

04-26-2003, 10:47 AM
JT, you're being too hard on yourself ! I really like this... the colors work beautifully together, and even tho you think it's gloomy and dark, I don't ! :D

(take that little shoulder critic and give him a swift boot!) :D :D

lyn lynch
04-26-2003, 12:51 PM
JT, I assumed they were transparent to begin w/as I have done the same thing so many, many times. :D That boat is one we all ride in. :(

If you can't wait for it to dry, try what I do: put hairdryer in lap. Everytime I twitch hairdryer falls and I remember: Blow Dry!! If I don't have it in my lap I forget about it.

Also, I use light color washes and many, many glazes. I hoping to simplify glazes in the future by more correct ratio of paint to water. I am just learning watercolor too.

I think this work is very nice. I do not want you to go back to acrylics because you feel you have made an unsuccessful work after so much effort. THIS WORK IS NOT UNSUCCESSFUL. This work SUCCESSFUL. Comp is wonderful, everything wonderful. I suggest re-do for learning experience. You may find that you PREFER this version. Sounds to me like you are experiencing creative surge.

Truly, the infection causes big upset in your system. Than the antibiodics visit more havoc...Visualize warring factors...this interfers w/brain functions. It will pass in a few days to a week, maybe less.

This work very good...I say no more, and exit soapbox left.
Except, "Flowfee" translation: "Flower" to English speaking persons.

04-26-2003, 02:40 PM
Thanks Fafil, Sylvia & Fookie.

you may weel be right about the antibiotics............ I dont know about brain, but upset stomach.... however last night they made a swift exit southwards................... and today I painted a w/c self portrait from life which Ive just posted. Not sure if connected !

Certainly wouldnt have withuot all the encouragement here... million thanks again.

Now looking for another project :D You may be right about the surge .....fingers crossed......... about time, Ive been fallow since January :(

Weeheee:clap: :clap: :clap:

Will paint with dryer in lap but cant be sure to twitch at right moment :D

What is the Hungarian for flowers Fooks?

04-26-2003, 09:20 PM
Beautiful painting, love the colors that you have used.

04-26-2003, 10:05 PM
Loosers!!!! AGAIN!!!!....:D :D :D :D :D :D :evil: