Finding Balance

“Flotsam
Watercolor, 22 x 30 inches
This painting kept me challenged for the best part of 2 days. Admittedly, it gave me fits. The angst came from building the value contrast from left to right with the strong, dark reflection on the far right shore of this beach pond. The brilliant light on the left opposing that reflection on the right caused serious balance difficulties. The rivulets at the bottom of the painting took a few hours to design in order to lead the eye into the painting and provide an interesting abstraction. You wouldn’t believe how much eventually was scrubbed out of this piece in order to get it to behave . . .it may take me a few days before I actually decide if it is a show piece or not.

The far shore is what this piece is about. Every thing else in the painting is supposed to lead the eye to that point. Click on the painting to expand it so you can see what’s happening there. Hopefully, the monitor resolution is good enough to make out the color detail there. The stark value contrasts there and the edges keep the painting in balance (I hope!). It took nearly six different attempts and glazes to dial it in.

I have been on a tear to paint lately, since I have another show coming up, which has a theme of water flowing to the sea. So, I am painting big, strong pieces in hopes that a few will be show worthy. This is a welcome break from the web work on my website last week. If you haven’t seen the new site, check it out here.

5 thoughts on “Finding Balance”

  1. Looks great, Mike. Color and value (color equals value) can often be a struggle. I’m struggling now on a commercial project for the Tour of Calif…mostly with value issues. One of these fine days, I’d love to see progressive photos of one of your h2o projects and including your scrubbing technique.

  2. Big watercolors are so challenging but you pulled it off beautifully. Just saw on your new awesome web site that you’ll be at Kanuga in NC in March next year, then teaching there in 2010. I was checking to see how I could get to one of your workshops. We have SO much fun at Kanuga. I’m looking forward to meeting you.

  3. Peggy, David, Holly and Sandy . . .it looks to me like I have some more struggles ahead with this piece. the forground shapes don’t work well, so modification is in order. This might be another of those “two different paintings” flops. I’ll be gittin bizzy on it this coming week.

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