Thursday, February 4, 2010

Little gouache studies

Here's a few little paintings with railroad-y diagrams in them. These three are 6x6" on Fabriano hot press (again). I'm intrigued by how much the gouache changes color and opacity as it dries, so I'm doing these small painting to sort of practice with it some more.

I hate practicing in my sketchbook - I'd rather just get started on a nice piece of paper so that if it turns out how I want, I actually have a finished piece rather than having to redo it on a better paper. I waste some nice paper that way, but I used to be afraid to touch my nice paper and would leave it to sit in the drawer and do way too much preliminary sketching. So I think it's good that I'm not so precious about paper (and canvas, etc.) anymore.

Something I like in these pieces is the tension between the precise ruler lines and the (intentionally) wobbly edge of the color. I like the effect in printmaking when two colors are out of registration and they overlap in some places and leave white gaps in others. I think these would be really flat if they were actually perfect or if I did them digitally to eliminate all the color changes and wobbles.


freshlychopped said...

i'll keep an eye on that opacity change! i also love when things are misregistered and it adds a lot of depth here. i hear you on the preliminary sketching - it looks like you work through it well without it, plus it shows more of the creative process in your work which is always a plus in my book.

hollie said...

i agree about the wobbly edge. it's a great contrast to the almost rigid composition. the green in the last few is amazing. one of my favorite bits are the little white flecks that are left uncolored in the middle of a paint block.

i have a hard time sketching too! i just want to -make- something and not do what i feel is "practicing" making something. i bought a nice new sketchbook in january to try and force myself to do it more. so far it's blank. :p

gretchenmist said...

i think doing a 'good' version of something can take the life out of it. i read once in a super technical artist manual that you should always work with the best of everything that you can afford so that you don't waste your best work!
these are gorgeous and i love the irregularities too, they are great details. i've learned to let them happen by themselves {esp white/bottom layer areas that show through with paintings} and to actually leave them there! small steps :)

June rhymes with moon said...

Interesting discussion! Leah, I think the changes are good, mostly - having an unpredictable element is good for me so I don't get too nitpicky.

Hollie, I love trying to get just the right amount of wobble and leaving just enough unpainted whites to make it interesting but I always worry if it looks unintentionally sloppy :P The most I sketch these days are thumbnails for composition.

Belinda, we'll have to keep encouraging each other to love imperfections, I think :) And I usually prefer my first version of something when I sketch it, so why waste it, right?

Thanks for all these comments, ladies! I love talking shop with my artist pals :)