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Day Four : #OneWeek100People 2020 : In the Zone

March 12, 2020

Day Four, #OneWeek100People 2020.

I said it already, but watercolor is not at all like riding a bike. You spend even a month away from it, and you lose your sensitivity. Your dexterity. I imagine this is the reason musicians are always doing scales, athletes are constantly training.

I was missing something in the previous days sketches. (I only posted my favorite one :) Some of them seemed a bit lacking confidence –  too much reliance on under-drawing. Which leads to that feeling of coloring between the lines.

I still did a bit of sketching here, but more what I’d call a scribble. Just the loosest gesture line, almost a Dot Plot. (another here). This is the level of under-drawing I prefer. With too much planning, your figures become ‘second-hand’. Traced –  not fresh, bold statements.

If you’re taking too much care – if you’re painting too slowly – when you finally fuse one shape to the next – sometimes they’ve gone too dry to properly flood together.

And if you’ve filled the entire silhouette – effectively outlined the figure – you can’t have any ‘lost’ edges.

So! All that to say – This One is Much Better!

Speed is in fact, one of your tools. Confidence. Even aggression!

This is my clear favorite of the 100-and-some people painted I this week.

Those massive faux-fur hoods are part of the street-style in Montreal right now. Doesn’t it just look lusciously fuzzy?

They look great, but I don’t know they don’t get hit crossing the street. You must not be able to see anything under there.

This is of course, Montréal’s Chinatown gate, on St. Laurent and René Levesque. Just a block down from yesterday’s La Vitrine.

I’ve painted it before – but I like this rendition better :)

Night has more drama!

So – do you think it’s too rough?

I kind of like it.

It’s an important skill for an artist – to like everything you paint.

You have to love your own work. Don’t be shy, or self-effacing. If YOU don’t love your own work, nobody else is going to give you enough motivation to continue. Day in, day out, slowly slowly growing your skills – for what? The day you sell a piece? The day you paint something you’ll want on your wall forever?

Those days come and go, and you still have to keep painting. It’s not like you get there and you’ve won the race. You get to stop? Nope!

It has to be that thing where ‘The Work is the Reward’.

The feeling when those two big strokes dragged the night sky into the roof of the gate. That was an actual heart-leaping moment. So close to disaster. But then it’s not.

The joy of painting sounds hokey. But I think it’s a real thing.

There’s nothing like seeing a perfect brush stroke happen in front of you :)

So that’s been my #OneWeek100People for this year.

I’m going to call it done on this one! I can imagine I’ll beat this one tomorrow :)

Like many of us, I used the permission given by the group project to push aside work I *should* be doing, and after a few days of practice and play, I made it back Into the zone. The unconscious (dare I say effortless) flow of direct watercolor.

I guess that’s been a pretty good week all around.

Thanks for playing along and helping motivate me – and I’ll be hanging around the finish line (here and on the Facebook group) to watch all of you posting your last few 100 people.

Thanks Everyone!


[ Girls’ Night Out, 18×24”,  Watercolor on Cellulose Paper ]

12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2020 10:30 AM

    I would put one of those on my wall!

  2. Northern Traveller permalink
    March 12, 2020 10:37 AM

    The watercolour vortex – please continue to swirl Marc. It’s a pleasure to see you back :). Along with a good deal of frustration, there’s certainly a lot of joy in watercolour, as you say. Happy spring. Mary

  3. Gerry permalink
    March 12, 2020 11:08 AM

    I’ve enjoyed your paintings . Even though I didn’t participate in the challenge, your persistence and encouragement are an inspiration to me in my own work. I have used a method similar to the dot plots but didn’t know what to call it. Now I do! Thanks.

  4. karlakayhull777gmailcom permalink
    March 12, 2020 12:57 PM

    Oh wow – “Girls Night Out” is absolutely gorgeous! The mystery and the lighting in this painting is beautiful. Love, love, love it.

  5. Ellie Jantzen permalink
    March 12, 2020 4:31 PM

    Your comments gave me the kick in the Kazoo that I need. I realize my watercolors are too fill-in-between the sketch lines. Thanks once again.

  6. Elaine Gongora permalink
    March 12, 2020 5:01 PM

    So interesting to see your progression. I love the “wateryness” of your painting. And the spontaneous feeling although I know there is a lot behind it. Thanks for taking the time to show and inspire us with your work.

  7. Elaine Gongora permalink
    March 12, 2020 5:04 PM

    Thanks for taking the time to show and inspire us with your work. It’s so watery and exciting. I also appreciate your instructions. Looking forward to the next post.

  8. March 12, 2020 5:05 PM

    Hi Marc, Girls Night Out is marvellous! I’m thrilled that you are back from your venture into oils because your watercolours are excellent. Never stop painting is my motto. I too wonder what it’s all about, why I’m doing it, It’s because I love the thrill of painting in watercolour and the pleasure I feel when I’ve completed a painting and the visitors to my home tell me that its beautiful and they love it. Those are my rewards.
    Best wishes
    Carol-Lynn Bond


  9. March 12, 2020 6:16 PM

    I find the back-lit cars and people in this fascinating! Thanks for the inspiring words too!

  10. Andy permalink
    March 13, 2020 9:10 AM

    It deserves to be on a permanent exposition.


  1. OneWeek100People 2020 | Laura Sfiat
  2. Day One : #30x30DirectWatercolor : False Starts are Normal! | Citizen Sketcher

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