Several years ago a very good friend of mine told me that I am "a woman of strong resolve". I always thought that was the most charming way I'd ever been told I was stubborn as heck. Still do. Y'all may have noticed I do have just a smidge of a stubborn streak in me. I've heard the words "willful" and "headstrong" pretty often too. You add that to the stubborn streak that my ex's mother had and it's no wonder my daughter is the way she is. Of course, that has nothing to do with anything here... other than the fact that I am still playing with watercolors...
It's also no secret that my current obsession is those watercolors, mostly because I hate failing. To those of you who are masters at them, I salute you. Especially those who can simply take brush to paper and create something beautiful. I concede... regardless of how much I practice, I shall never be that sort. I'm ok with that. But I shall keep trying.
I am a self taught artist. Unless you count the couple of classes I had in high school. I have a "knack" for creating stuff... come from a long line of women who have always been creative... but nothing has been "formally" taught. I'm not complaining, I think not knowing how a technique is supposed to be done gives me great leeway in how I create something. No rules mean everything is possible. Except for these darned watercolors. Why are they so difficult for me? Of course, this makes me very curious, which, in turn, leads to some research on my part (don't even ask me what I know about coconut trees... when I get curious about something I just have to know...)
Opening my browser, I typed in "water color and similar paints" into the Google search box... and found that there may be a better alternative for me. Gouache paint. What's the difference? Well, the particles of pigment are larger, and the ratio of pigment to water is higher, and they generally have a white pigment (such as chalk) in them as well. That makes the paint heavier... more opaque. It dries very flat, and you can paint layers. Ohhhh... this seems promising!
Off I go to purchase some gouache paints. Before investing the inheritance of my children in a medium I'm not remotely sure I am going to be able to master, I decided I'd get a "student quality" set that was reasonably priced. And I went home to practice on poppies again. I even spent the day cleaning house yesterday so I wouldn't have to feel any guilt about spending the day today painting... Here's what I have found... It's not the paints, it's me. Realistic painting is just not my thing. But... the paints are great!
They are more opaque, and I like how I can layer them... although, I REALLY do have to learn to be patient enough to let the layers dry between. The colors are vibrant, as is evidenced above and to the left... we know I like bright and colorful! They aren't going to help me get the poppy done well, but... there are a whole lot of possibilities that I can see here.
Have I told y'all I like mermaids? Pretty, colorful, mermaids... And you know, it's easy to not feel frustrated realistically painting them... we have so few photos of them to go by...