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Day 28 : #30x30DirectWatercolor2019 : The Narrow Path

June 25, 2019

“The Narrow Path”, 18×18″ watercolor on paper

Well – I do believe I quietly crossed the finish line a while ago. If I look back, this is painting number 34 of 30 – if I’m counting right?

It’s been a tremendous experience for me this year.  Looking back at my primary goal  – to produce a body of new work with a consistent feel, and new confidence with watercolor – I feel well satisfied.

I had a secondary goal of sending some of this work to the Canadian watercolor society. That’s in the judges’ hands as we speak. I’ll be able to report back soon if they are also fans of Direct Watercolor :)

I have one more bit of news, but I’ll push that off till tomorrow.

I hope all of you hit your thirty – or are expecting to make it in the next few days. Feel free to post your success stories in the comments! Let’s get the last few paintings out and take a well-deserved break!


Day 27 : #30x30DirectWatercolor2019 : Castle Bravo

June 25, 2019

“Castle Bravo”, 18×18″ watercolor on paper

Detail of waves. Painted with Holbein watercolor Grey-of-Grey over a damp wash of Neutral Tint and Indigo. An example of how watercolorists might benefit from more opaque painting techniques?

It’s interesting how things in life keep looping back. I am finally getting around to internalizing what I saw Sargent doing with body color at an exhibition in 2014.

That’s playing the long game for you.

Day 26 : #30x30DirectWatercolor2019 : Walk the Desert

June 25, 2019

“Footfalls Throw Dust”, 18×18″ watercolor on paper

Day 25 : #30x30DirectWatercolor : Vanishing Lake

June 25, 2019

“The Vanishing”, 18×18″ Watercolor on Paper

There are some experiences in life that stick with you. I frequently think back to our trip to the vanishing Salton Sea.

Of course, it doesn’t look like this at all. But I’m enjoying this exercise in sketching from imagination and memory and re-interpreting my own drawings.

Day 24 : #30x30DirectWatercolor2019 : Re-Inspiration

June 24, 2019

So, I’ve been fussing with something here in the past few days, which is that I’ve used up the inspirational value of my digital sketches. (For now).

I did – I think 45 sketches – to get me to 30 paintings. It was sort of a random number. I just sketched whatever was in my head and stopped naturally when the ideas started slowing down.

After you’ve been painting all the best ones – the ones that grabbed your eye – eventually, you’re down to the dregs. There really isn’t anything worth painting left!

So – I had to take a day off and sketch some new ideas.

Just for a break, I went back to the familiar – and painted in ink and wash with Chinese brushes.

Tomorrow, I’ll ‘re-boot’ with some of these new inspirations.

Day 23 : #30x30DirectWatercolor2019 : Ten Thousand Foot View

June 23, 2019

“Ten Thousand Foot View”

Day 22 : #30x30DirectWatercolor2019 : Hurricane Season

June 22, 2019

“Hurricane Season”, 18×18″ watercolor on paper

Here I am again, returning to my very first sketch.

Look how much you can get out of the same bit of inspiration. I felt like I hadn’t done a good enough job at the blackness  – so I went back.

These drips are not *entirely* intentional. But on the other hand, I don’t mind either. I mean, they are intentional in the sense that I know they will happen – if I soak the paper and paint at an angle. I enjoy learning to live with what the water does.

The end result, I feel looks like a massive waterspout. I like it.

I left it. I could see many others not liking the results. But what are you going to do? You can’t have a personal vision without doing things some people won’t like.

The sky, by the way, is a huge wasabi-wash of Daniel Smith’s Graphite Grey. (Tinted with a few random things).

This is a color that isn’t much good for anything in the natural world. Maybe certain kinds of rocks. A stone beach if you could find one. I do believe I used it in my parking garage paintings last year. It does have a unique velvety texture that I haven’t seen in any other pigments I’ve tried.