Monday, September 12, 2011

A Sterling Edwards Practice Piece - Watercolor Barn

The last couple of days I have been studying Sterling Edwards watercolor methods hoping to inspire me to do some painting.  I had so hoped to take a workshop with him this year at the Art of the Carolinas but looks like I may miss out again this year.  So the next best thing was going through his book and viewing the video lessons he's created to include the freebie lessons through Jerry's Artarama website.

Sterling Edwards is a contemporary watercolorist who works on portraying his subjects through loose suggestive brush strokes creating an illusion of his subject rather than realism (if I'm explaining that correctly).  He believes in paintings have mood, telling a story, and leaving something to the imagination for the viewer to fill in rather than spelling it all out.  He also likes using a variation of deep rich color and values which he feels gives many scenes that extra punch.

He also works in abstract which I find I really like.  But it's the looseness and suggestive attributes that has grabbed my attention that I really love about his work.

Because of this method..........I find it more relaxing and actually fun to do.    Don't have to worry if everything is perfect or just so so. 

With this painting exercise, I did not have the proper tools so I had to improvise.  Instead of a flat, all I had on hand was an angular flat.  For the bristle brush to blend edges with, I had to use a slanted foliage brush.

This is a 5 x 7 painting on The Langton 140lb Cold press.  Didn't have masking tape to tape down onto a board as he suggests so I did the best I could with the paper just laying flat on my table.  Considering there was not a great deal of wetting of the paper, I managed OK without buckling.

Should I try this again, I hope to achieve more variation in the greens than what I ended up with in this painting.  There's a variation of brown and green but the brown is so subtle you can hardly see it.....particularly with the scan.  The actual painting is more noticeable but still not to the extent I would have liked.  Also plan to introduce some blue or even another color to help offset the primarily green foliage back drop.

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