Friday, October 02, 2009

When things go wrong

I am at the stage in life now that when things go wrong, I tend to sit back and not worry about it. Worry never made any problems go away and when things go wrong on the watercolour front, then worrying is particularly futile. Sometimes these mistakes can be corrected, or at least got around, but not always. There are times when the waste bin beckons. All the same, just pause a while before you throw something out. Leave it to one side and don't worry over it.

Take my 'disaster' a few weeks ago. A watercolour had gone 'pear-shaped' and I was left with a spoiled sheet of Arches, 140 lbs rough, on which there was a nice sky, but a botch of a job, that was supposed to be a ploughed field.

I didn't want to throw out that sky though, and I cut away the botch, leaving me with a wide, narrow sky. I put this into my 'Watercolour browser' for a while, and yesterday, I dragged it out, deciding to try my hand at Mixed-Media (something I don't often do. Out came the pastels, and the accompanying picture, 'Stand and Stare' is the result. I don't know if it was a success, but I like it. If nothing else it will fill a space in my studio.

I also discovered that with rough watercolour paper, using pastel, is a great way of producing sparkle on a flat-wash sea, (a late 'dry-brush' effect if you like). So next time your attempt at dry-brush goes wrong, let it dry, and then drag a small piece of light coloured pastel gently across the wash. Those impressionistic, sparkly dots will appear as if by magic. I think I will remember that trick and use it again. I might even plan for it.

Happy Painting folks.

'Stand and Stare' Watercolour and Pastel Approx. 14" x 9"


Keith Tilley said...

This is absolutely stunning John. I'm glad the original was a disaster because this really is a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Have you seen the work of Ray Balkwill? He uses pastel with watercolour to good effect.

John Walker said...

Hello Keith,

Thank you for your kind comments. I do tend to hang onto my mistakes as a general rule, but the storage problem can get out of proportion. So I bought a huge A1 plastic portfolio case, and most of them are now in the attic!

Thanks again and on balance, I think I will get 'Stand and Stare' mounted up and in the 'Browser'... :)


Beatrice Cloake N.A.P.A said...

Great work John ! love the colours and the atmospheric.
Love to follow your comments too on POL.