This week my explorations with flower petals continued. I was aiming for subtlety in tone, delicacy, fragility and that ephemeral thing that flowers are all about.
Of all the watercolour techniques I know the one I call “pushing and shoving” is perhaps the most difficult process to achieve especially when delicacy is the objective. It very much relies on timing, patience and strong will power to hold back until the right moment to go in and add more pigment. Learning to read the changing stages of water drying on the paper is vital. Too early in adding too weak a pigment strength creates nothing more than a flood of similar toned wash. The key with this is to build tone in the right places, at the right time, with the right strength of pigment. Patience is definitely a virtue with this technique.
Compositionally I was aiming for an abstract of delicate layered washes. The white of the paper is the first layer of tone. Sorry photos are not the best but they are adequate enough to get the idea.
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Opinions about my watercolours are always interesting to hear. Though after all these years I have learnt to take all of them with a pinch of salt. I remember a few years ago an elderly gentleman who thought he knew a thing or three about art advised me not to leave white paper areas in my watercolour paintings. I questioned him further about his comment, only to learn that he was basing his opinion on his collection of oil paintings that he had collected over the years. At that point I politely said to him: “Yes I will remember that in future.” In my head I was thinking: “Yes I will remember in future that this guy has no idea what art is all about and he still regards himself as an art critic.” I have found that everyone is an art critic in this crazy world. The most amusing and memorable ones are the ones who have no idea what they are talking about.