watercolor, 15 x 22 inches
After dreaming all night about yesterday’s painting, I still wasn’t satisfied. So I took another shot at it. Since I usually attack these paintings as an experiment, I went at it with multiple goals in mind.
I still haven’t captured the scale of the ship. I suppose I will have to put another boat in the piece for size comparison . . .or something that shows comparative measure. But I was able to reach a few of the goals I set out to accomplish.
This time I decided to reduce the size of the relective surface of the water (the white area) and to make it the center of interest, silhouette the bridge of the ship against the sky using value counterchange and to subdivide the large foreground shape using strong shadows from off the picture plane. And . . .I pushed the value contrasts to give the sense of distance to the ship and to enhance that reflection of light off the surface of the water.
I really worked at pushing the darks in this painting, also. As most watercolorists do, I have struggled with my darks over the years. It is imparative to make them full of color and to have them appear fresh. I think I may have a breakthrough in that area in this painting. It peculiar how we do the same things over and over and over again, then, one day, something clicks and we change. That happened this morning.
While I am also working hard at teaching value design to my classes, I figgered I had better put the lessons to work. I employed a very dark foreground shape to set up the contrast of light and medium values in the piece. (I wonder what the next one will look like.)