Thursday, April 10, 2008

Foggy Island Bridge

Below are three progress photo's of a painting I introduced you to back in October 2007. I think I have shown you the first two at that time. In the first photo, I have the drawing and a few washes of indigo with some ultramarine blue that have very little pigment in the water. In the second photo I have more washes of the indigo mixture and I'm beginning to shape some of the trees and the bridge. Today I worked more on this painting and it's beginning to take on some substance. I've begun to shape the large rocks started working on the trees and shrubs on this side of the bridge on ramp. I've added some definition to the boat ramp and the dock area.
Foggy Island Bridge-first washes progress photo's of "Foggy Island Bridge" #1

Foggy Island Bridge-#2progress photo's of "Foggy Island Bridge" #2

Foggy Island Bridge-step #3progress photo's of "Foggy Island Bridge" #3

In thinking about this painting I realize that I enjoy painting in watercolor by getting the first washes down and then putting the painting away for awhile. Although this is far from finished I do think the next steps will come easier now that it has sat untouched for a while. I do keep these paintings out in the open where I can see them, so they are not really forgotten. I like thinking about what area I should work on next and how I should accomplish the look I want when I work on it again. If I put it away for awhile I can see where I need value, where I need color etc. that I can't see when I originally start out painting.

If you work in watercolor, how do you prefer to work? Do you usually like to finish your painting in the first (and only) setting or do you like to take your time and to work on the painting for days before you complete it?


  1. Wow Nancy I can see how this is progressing. Awesome.

    Hmmm I do a little bit of both. sometimes I like to finish in one sitting and sometimes I let it sit.
    It all depends on what I am working on. sorry I am not much help here.
    I do believe that it is better to let paintings sit and go back to them with fresh eyes even if it is for a half hour.


  3. This is going to make a beautiful painting. I agree with you about leaving watercolors for a while befor putting on the final touches. But that is sooo difficult for me to do!

  4. Thank you Toni. I find when I try to work on a watercolor all in one setting I make mud. I can't seem to work on it and not go back into the wet paint ... I forge ahead on most anyway, but I prefer to do a little at a time, thinking about it in stages.

    Oh Lin, you are so sweet. I'm really trying on this piece. As usual I've procrastinated on working on this and am now working pretty fast to finish it ... hope I can do the scene justice and not "over work it".

    Hi Casey, thank you for your comment. For some reason the brain registers what I'm looking at better if it hasn't focused upon it consistantly. Maybe thats what they mean by looking at something with a fresh eye???

  5. Thank you for your visit and comments on my blog. I always love to hear from other artists.
    Lovely watercolors! Makes me want to pull mine out, blow off the dust and give them a try again. It's been a long time.
    Happy painting!

  6. Hi Nancy, Everyone is agreed, this one looks great!

  7. Wow -- this is going really well -- what a beautiful painting!

    Since you asked -- I work full blast at a painting. Actually, I guess I attack the paper more than paint it. Then at the 85% finished point I decide that I despise said painting/attacked piece of paper and stomp away for a few days or a few weeks. Then the inner disciplinarian kicks in and tells me I'd better go ahead and finish the painting, even if it is terrible, it will at least be a learning experience. Then, at about 99% completion it sits for a bit ... then gets finished, further despised, hidden for several weeks, pulled back out for destruction, and then, SOMETIMES, acknowledged to be not so bad after all.
    I thought everybody did it that way.

  8. Oh Linda ... I got my laugh for the day with your description of the way you tackle a watercolor painting. You described my feelings about my paintings where you despise said painting/attacked piece of paper and stomp away for a few days or a few weeks. That is so true. Despise is a great word in this situration. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this comical happening ... too true, too funny.

  9. Maeona, Thanks for coming by. Your new stuff looks great.

  10. Hi Nancy!

    When I first started in watercolors I painted very methodically, step by step adding detail and working light to dark. The paintings were very realistic. If I got the drawing right the finished paintings were ok. Then I realized the work in WC that I really admired were much more fluid (like yours) and loosely rendered like Charles Reid or Jerry Stitt and so I started finishing the paintings in one sitting forcing myself to suggest detail and get the darkest darks to combine and bleed into the lights using lots of pigment and lots of water occasionally coming back the next day to scratch in a highlight or define an edge.

    Anyhow I love watercolor and yours are beautiful!!

  11. I "like" to get it done, but I am slowly learning (I'm a slow learner, I suppose) that it takes time. Time. I am learning.

    Your painting is progressing beautifully!

  12. Thank you Robin for dropping by. I must admit that I hadn't heard of Jerry Stitt until you mentioned him. I did some on-line research and I agree with you, both Charles Reid and Jerry Stitt exude confidence. Uhhh, that's not me.
    :-) I find almost every brush stroke a tough journey that does not come easy. But... I so enjoy my experience with both watercolor & oils that its worth the frustration I often feel.

  13. Sue, thank you so much for stopping by and your kind words.

    I'm always in such a hurry that I think that's why I prefer to just stop and leave the painging alone or else I end up making a big pile of mud ...*wink.