Though the changes were minor, they made a difference in the outcome. The larger picture on the right includes the final changes.
First change - some very diluted Cobalt Blue was charged into the bigger orange panel. Even though I hated to part with the glorious textures on that panel, as soon as I glazed it, I could see it get knocked back where it belonged.
Next, part of the top orange panel was darkened with Transparent Pyrrol Orange and Pyrrol Red. The darker value helped suggest the change in direction which the umbrella makes where the spokes bend and angle upwards.
Using both Cobalt Blue and Transparent Pyrrol Orange, I subdued all but about five of the white dots. Doing that seemed to add some needed movement to the picture. I'd previously toned part of them down, but hated to part with too much of the white of the paper. However, the red had been so bossy that it took over everything, and toning down the powerful 'whiteness' of the dots helped alleviate the strength of the red.
The glow of the deck is my favorite part of the painting. I think that with the adjustments to the dots and orange panels, the red umbrella is now less demanding, allowing the eye to move easily around the rest of the painting.
The bottom of the handle on the red umbrella didn't quite seem to be touching the deck, so there are a few edge and shadow adjustments in that area. A slightly lighter value was also added to the under side of the steel bar going up into that umbrella so that it didn't look so wimpy. It's so nice with transparent fluid acrylics to be able to add a lighter value when it's needed - something that's way more complicated to do in transparent watercolor.
The next adjustment was on two parts of the deck. Very diluted Quinacridone Burnt Orange was painted in a small part of the really white deck area above the top notch post of the red umbrella. Then, the crack between the boards to the left of the handle of that umbrella was widened slightly.
The only other change was in the upper right hand corner where a darker wedge was added to create a 'push' down into the picture where the bluish umbrellas overlap. Edges in that area were melded together a bit so they weren't so important.
Small changes can help tweak a painting. In the past, the danger for me has been to overdo the tweaking process, causing my painting to loose freshness. I've thrown away far too many paintings that would've been okay if I hadn't tried to perfect them so much.
It's taken years, but I've finally quit trying to make a painting perfect. A great quote by Michael J. Fox was the ultimate thing that made me stop over tweaking. He said, "I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business."
A very special thanks go to Jude, Sandy, and Bob, who used their expert eyes to help spot some of the needed adjustments. And thank you, Almighty GOD, for making painting so much fun, for giving me the chance to be an artist.
The painting is finally signed and completed, and I'm on to the next one. It's of two giant pigeons, and it's the biggest painting I've ever attempted. More later.
They've asked me to return in late September next year and promised that it won't be 107 degrees then. Anytime that you're in the area, be sure to stop in to see the beautiful treasures of art in their expansive gallery. It's on the north side of Dallas, and getting around that amazing city is relatively easy. Several artists there own and operate The Artists Showplace gallery, and it's quite a team. Their workshop area is large and well equipped, a delight to teach in, for sure! They sponsor excellent workshops continually throughout the year so check out their website. I'm really looking forward to returning.
My next YUPO workshop is in Toledo, Ohio at the end of this month. For more info about it, you can email them at email@example.com or see the side bar on the right.
My apologies to the Dallas workshop artists if the colors aren't quite right in your paintings below and for the descriptions/titles that I made up. Some paintings had a slight glare from the lights, too. You can still see what an awesome job they all did - each woman expressing herself in her own unique way. Here is a selection of some of the workshop paintings, all on YUPO, some watercolor, but most painted with fluid acrylics ----- ENJOY!
BOATS BY CAROLYN BUCHMANN
MEXICAN VILLAGE BY PAULINE CAFFREY TUMBLING ABSTRACT BY LYDIA GOWENS
CRASHING SURF BY JUDY CAMPBELL EXPANSE BY DOVIE WU
JEWELS BY TETA SMITH FOREST BY MARSHA BENDA
SNOWSCAPE BY SHARON SERRAGOLANDSCAPE BY ANNIE JAMISON WINDOW BY DARLA BOSTICK
BEATEN PATH BY JANE KAHLER
My final sketch contained several minor adjustments to help improve the composition, and a value study helped me determine which shapes needed to be lighter, which ones darker, (which I forgot to follow at one point.) We'd decided to work with FLUID ACRYLICS this time - the OTHER watercolor! No one in the class had used them, and the challenge was on.
I'd recently watched Nicholas Simmon's new dvd again showing his expert use of fluid acrylics. Viewing it helped reinforce all the things he'd taught us when he was here at the studio last November for a week long workshop. We moved slowly to incorporate the same process and techniques that Nick demonstrated on his dvd.
Below is Step 1 - painting the deck area (background area.) This shows the area with the miskit removed. Fluid watercolor acrylic paints were poured onto wet paper. There are two pours of colors over the whole area, and I made sure that blossoms and run backs happened each time before spraying off the paint just before it dried. Nick calls this effect his 'watercolor batik' look, and it's a very cool way to make great textures. Some drizzles of water and paint were added to the deck boards to add more texture before the miskit was removed. Click on the picture to see textures better.
To see more detailed photos of another original umbrella painting, go to Rhonda Carpenter's blog at http://rhcarpenter.blogspot.com/. I forgot to take more pictures until I'd completed the painting, but Rhonda has posts about the succession of her painting on August 18, 19, 20, 27 plus today's, showing her completed masterpiece. I wish everyone could see it in real life. It's got a magnificent glow, and the colors dance off each other beautifully. She wasn't loving it until she cropped off one umbrella (which I liked.) She's gotta love it now.
The next step was to paint all the dark and blue umbrellas - (the middle ground areas.) I miskited any shapes and patterns that I wanted to remain white, then wet each area to be painted before charging in the colors. Back runs were encouraged again. Before the paint dried out completely, a blast from a sprayer washed off the still damp areas, creating more of the batik looking areas.
Knowing when to blast off the paint after making blossoms is one of the trickier parts of this process. Waiting until the 'blossom' areas were still a little shiny to blast off the fluid acrylics seemed to work best to create those batik spaces.
Popping in that bright color on the wet red umbrella panels, then spraying off the blossom areas again, made for a lively textured focal point. Each panel was done separately, and when they were all dry, I painted more red over the entire umbrella after wetting the whole red shape completely with water.
We used Nick's SEWING MACHINE STITCH to soften some edges, then drenched the entire painting with water before swishing color randomly throughout the painting. That helped to soften and unify the painting. A few more drizzles were added to the red umbrella, too.
After class was over, I added stronger color to one of the red panels and also placed a very light orange glaze on parts of the deck floor. Now I'm living with it for a while before I call it finished. A few more small areas may still need to be darkened. I've started another bigger painting using fluid acrylics and will post it when it's done.
If you want to explore some really great techniques using fluid acrylics, I'd recommned clicking on http://www.ccpvideos.com/page/CCP/CTGY/ARTNS to order Nick's dvd from Creative Catalyst Productions.
Textures always seem to scream at me to paint them, and the textures in this painting were fun to do - the rope, the rusted iron, the rocks and mossy weeds. Compared to my previous post, this was done in a much more controlled way, a way I find more relaxing to create.
Painted while we were at the coast, I can remember smelling that fresh, salty ocean air as I worked. It was a great week. Thanks so much for including me, Barb."LEFT BEHIND" Transparent Watercolor on 140# Arches 15 x 11" COLLECTED