I recently finished another watercolor to be sold in my internet Etsy shop.
"Free Rein" 11x14 inches transparent watercolor by Eileen Black
I call it, "Free Rein." References for it were gathered from several places but mostly from a summer evening when I was out photographing farms. In the next field two riders were taking advantage of the late sunlight and the cool air.
I’m happy with the way it turned out; still I never feel a painting meets all my expectations. Sometimes I find myself working too hard on details which are probably not necessary to tell the story.
My April 2013 issue of Watercolor Artist Magazine features a creativity workshop by Bev Jozwiak. She says in general she likes to stray out of the lines when creating a piece without a background.
This is her painting, “Still Waters” from the article. She points out how she allows her paint to drip and run and, even though she hasn’t put in every detail, the unfinished portions help make for a more interesting piece.
Another artist whose book I was studying pointed out how important it is to simplify shapes and build flow through a composition. He called those who put up a lot of hard edges “terminal literalists.” A lot of us learned art through coloring books where we were encouraged and even chastised by some to “stay inside the lines.”
Here is a study I did from his book, Painting Light and Shade. The simplification of detail and the flow of color are engaging and fun.
Here’s another sketch I did while going through his book. There is no line to define the top of the roof of the house on the left, or on the right side of the steeple yet we understand it is there.
When I find my work getting too tight I sometimes return to this book for inspiration. You may note I’ve not mentioned the author. This is because I’m still more than annoyed with him. I drove across two large states to take a workshop from him only to discover he’d radically changed styles and had gone from transparent watercolor landscapes to opaque impressionism. I’m just glad I still have his book and video to inspire me in the direction I wish to go.