What comes after the late night sketch of a lilac sprig in my watercolor journal? Why the actual watercolor painting, of course! I took a reference shot of the lilac tree (this wasn’t a bush, but a tree that sits on the edge of my neighbor’s property, right by the sidewalk). After my little “study” of the lilac branch – it’s buds and flowers, shapes and colors – I decided to get down to it on 140 lb. cold press paper, using watercolor pencils for the initial shapes (no graphite) and watercolor transparent tube paint (no pan paint, which has been my usual “fav” formerly preferred over tube and pencil).
Below, you can see the reference photo and the my painting, side by side. Notice the photo has been digitally manipulated (in iPhoto, nothing fancy) and prints out watercolor-y on my printer due to the fact that I need to install a new color ink cartridge in it. I just loved how this was turning out from the start.
I came away satisfied with today’s efforts.
In this piece, my intention was to bring the same looseness and “gesture” (as Brian puts it in a recent post) to the painting that I like to use in my sketching.
Another one of the people who paint here in watercolor (Joan) referred to letting the paint take over – in her work, the paint created a river where one was not intended – this is also a wonderful concept to keep in mind. See her blog post “A Stream Runs Through It.”
I just finished Marcia Moses’ book called “Creative Watercolor” about painting watercolor from the heart.
Finally, an interesting tidbit: I’ve learned that Rochester, NY is one of the lilac capitals of the U.S. and the city’s 117th Lilac Festival begins tomorrow, May 8th, and runs through the 17th of this month. You can read all about it here.