Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Fish out of Water challenge...
Well, we certainly came at this challenge from different directions!! I took the literal approach and Pablo took the virtual -- and I think the much more difficult road. While I was thrilled just to find an excuse to put this vintage planter on the wonderful fish fabric from my stash, Pablo was putting *himself* in the role of "fish out of water" by painting an animal -- and on top of that, as a commission!! (He never does either of these things!!) He says, "I was totally nervous 'cause this is so out of my comfort zone. The great thing about challenges is that they challenge us to grow as an artist whether it be techniques, thought processes, or just taking on something that we wouldn't normally think of painting."
For me, painting the single-color fish planter was a technical challenge. I finally settled on a base of raw sienna and rose madder genuine because it lifted off the paper very easily for the highlights on the ceramic and could be mixed with purple for shadows. The fish fabric allowed me to play with masking fluid, one of my favorite things in my bag of watercolor tricks! On the advice of my friend Connie Williams, I used Winsor-Newton masking fluid instead of my usual brands and I loved the ease of applying it -- it's very fluid and makes it easy to mask very fine details. I painted the entire background teal, waited for it to dry and then masked all the fishie shapes. When I had finally finished painting the ceramic fish, I applied the dark fabric color to the background. I let everything dry thoroughly, then removed the masking fluid and toned the background to give it depth.