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Old 02-07-2018, 04:15 PM
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RBloechl RBloechl is offline
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Watercolor Rescue 4

This is the fourth in a series of Watercolor "Rescue" posts, in which I take a previously done painting I'm not that happy with, and make changes and corrections to improve the overall feel and composition.

This subject is the Santa Barbara Mission in Santa Barabara, CA. It's 12 x 18 inches on Strathmore 140lb CP paper. This is my third watercolor ever , back in '03, and I hadn't discovered the difference of cotton watercolor paper yet.



The original scan is a little weak, but you can see the lack of contrast, a rather boring sky (which it was) and too much vibrant color used on the fountain. (Don't trust you reference photos).

I had intended to add a gradiant sky, but the poor paper made the cobalt blue pigment settle and create a blotchy look. So while it was still damp, I washed off the added pigment, blotted the area, and then with an application of
clear water, I dropped in cobalt blue to create breaking clouds for the sky.

I then reworked the foliage on the right, adding a feignt tree-line in the background, using cobalt blue, sap green and burnt sienna, to help define the building edge.

I strenghtened all the details of the building, using permanent rose, cobalt blue and ultra marine violet. I added burnt sienna and light red to the tile roof, to give it more strength. I reworked the arches and shadows as well.

I then added high-lights and shadow colors to the rest of the trees and foliage, giving them a little more shape.

The fountain colors were subdued, using cobalt blue, ultra marine violet and permanent rose. I defined the shadow shapes more and lifted a few high-lights here and there.

I lifted high-lights out of the fountain to give it more shape and texture. Then I reworked the right foreground corner to simplify it and not create a distraction.



Although the painting is 14 years old, I think I gave it more life.
Don't be afraid to rework some of your early failures.

Rich
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Old 02-07-2018, 05:02 PM
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Watercolour lover Watercolour lover is offline
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Re: Watercolor Rescue 4

Rescuing old watercolours is a strictly personal decision of course, and this rescue effort obviously made some changes that pleased the artist. It will be interesting to see how many of us try this. I feel that "pepping up"old paintings is a lost cause. When I look back on paintings I did a decade ago, I see now, what I would do differently, but to impose the incremental knowledge I gained over that decade is a waste of time. Each painting is a genuine artefact of its time. I have changed and so has my style. I feel no urgent need to dress up old paintings any more than I would change the smile on the Mona Liza to bring it "up to date". Better to do a whole new version as your skills at drawing and composition have changed, and the new version will reflect how much you have improved since the original work.
John
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:02 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is online now
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Re: Watercolor Rescue 4

Well...there's an old artist's saying to the effect that a painting is never finished...it's only if/when the artist decides to stop painting!

Whether one stops painting the same day, or same month or same year, or whatever...seems to make little difference, since it's only the "finished" painting that matters. So when is a painting finished?

I applaud Rich for revisiting some earlier paintings and applying his learning and painting skills. All of the paintings he has posted are strong, and his message for early painters is a very useful learning experience: we always learn more as our painting journey progresses!

Painting is truly about learning and applying what we have learned.

Each of us is on our own individual painting journey...and the only thing which truly matters is what each of us is learning and how we apply it to advance our journey!

Keep painting and posting, Rich!

Sling paint,
Virgil
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:51 PM
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RBloechl RBloechl is offline
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Re: Watercolor Rescue 4

Quote:
It will be interesting to see how many of us try this. I feel that "pepping up"old paintings is a lost cause.

Besides personal satisfaction, the main reason I'm doing these "rescues", is to show those beginning or struggling painters out there, who give up too soon on the painting process, that they CAN rescue a painting that didn't turn out the way they had envisioned it, before giving up and throwing it in the trash. I HOPE I inspire some of you to try and rescue some of your weaker paintings with the examples and explanations I have shown.

Rich
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:58 PM
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aszurblue aszurblue is offline
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Re: Watercolor Rescue 4

I for one am truly enjoying thees "rescues" Rich. Wish I had read this before I threw all of mine in the trash.... I have learned so much. Please don't stop.

Azure
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:24 PM
oldey oldey is offline
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Re: Watercolor Rescue 4

Rich, I have enjoyed seeing your “rescues.” Great stuff!!
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