Here, I show the finished piece 3 ways: in full color (with work in progress), B&W, & sepia. Originally, I planned to paint in just two colors – yellow & gray/silver tones. Instead, I used full color. I like seeing the 2 other versions for how well I captured value tones, as you can see in the B&W and sepia versions.
Backstory on the subject matter: All this watercolor painting started with “The Artists’ Den.” There’s me on the paintbrush (and sometimes organ) and my sweetie on his guitar. My mom had given us a silver and gold cherub statue playing the violin, which sits on top of a speaker in the Artists’ Den and inspired this piece tonight.The joining of heaven and earth, with music as the bridge. The angel is soft against the strong instrument, the colors get more earthy as the eye moves down the figure. Candle wax created resist in the sky and around the figure.
Here’s the finished piece, with adjustments I made to the stool (it was too red) and enhancements to the face…
LESSON IN USE OF COLOR: My preference is for the sepia version. Maybe this is why … I’ve read that beginner watercolorists tend to make the mistake of using too many colors – it can confuse the eye and make the piece look “too busy.” However, in a recent issue of Watercolor magazine, one of the winners used a cacophony of colors and came in second place (here is the winning artwork). It all depends on how the color and elements are handled. In my piece, I am not satisfied with the colors. I’d like the piece better with the bottom cropped off. Now I’ve eliminated the green and the large colorful drum stool the angel was sitting on, and the piece feels lighter and better to me. Your thoughts?
I read a famous watercolorist from the late 1800’s would routinely crop his works if he felt the need – and I feel the need to crop. So I’ll settle on the top image as the finished final piece.