Saturday, August 30, 2008

Watercolor Cabbage - August VSD

6" x 4" watercolor on paper
Stacy L. Rowan

Here is my submission for the August Virtual Sketch Date. I loved the purple and green combination found in this cabbage. Since I reacted first to the colors in the reference, I decided to use watercolors for my entry.

If you've been following my blog, you know that I have been out of the art habit recently. The virtual sketch date challenge was the perfect opportunity for me to get back to it. That being said, we all know that rusty feeling you get when you've been away from your paints. So I decided this month that my main goal was to finish my entry and submit it on time. As a reminder I wrote this on my printed reference page...

Success is in the doing, not the end result.

And I have to say, when I hit that "ugly phase", reading the above statement really helped!

Overall I am pleased with this little painting. I am happy with the colors I achieved and, by means of this post, was successful in my main goal of getting this done. However, I do feel I lost some of my initial freshness. I used masking fluid for the leaf veins. I have a love/hate relationship with masking fluid. I love that it lets me paint without being concerned about saving the light areas that are masked off. But I hate what happens when I remove the masking. The areas of masking are almost always bigger than I want them to be, and I hate dealing with softening the hard edges of paint that built up around the masked areas. I'm not sure if the painting actually looks less fresh, but the time I spent blending in the masked areas sure made it feel less fresh to me!

Please visit the Virtual Sketch Date blog tomorrow and use the links to look at the other entries.


leslie said...

This is just beautiful.
All of the 'work' you did shows as 'joy' here, so not to worry!

Andy said...

Hi Stacy, just wanted to add that I think your painting is beautiful, lots of depth and detail and great colours.

kay susan said...

Stacy, this is super. I like the colours you used and you got such a nice curl on those outer leaves. I had difficulty with that. Nice job!

"JeanneG" said...

I think you did a great job. You would never know you had to "fix" around the veins. Love the colors you got. It has a very rich feel to it.

laura said...

"Success" is definitely in the doing--and, in the case, in the end result as well. Your drawing is perfect; and I love the harmonized colors and the detail in the leaves, which looks so very natural!

Rose Welty said...

Stacy, I just love the depth you've achieved on this - very nice darks.

susan said...

Stacy I love your painting...and your masking is terrific...makes me want to do a painting and trying to mask off areas. Your whites are so vivid in the cabbage.

Vivienne said...

I think this is just about perfect, and am amazed to read of the difficulties. The way the veins stand out a little seems appropriate to me, as they are quite raised in nature, and that white edge in the foreground is sublime. As are your colours.
You commented on my use of masking fluid. I'm very much finding my way here, agree with what you say. I hate the way it dries on the brush and gets all thick and blobby.
I think I might experiment with making a weaker solution using household ammonia.I'll let you know if it works.

Vikki a.k.a "V" said...

AMAZING! What a gift.

Marion said...

Absolutely beatiful. There is no lack of freshness, I assure you.

Cathy Gatland said...

I also have that love/hate thing with masking fluid (mostly hate -hence the experiment with gouache this time) but you sure seem to have tamed it here and made it work beautifully for you - it is very fresh-looking and those droplets of water just the finishing touch. Love that one clean white edge, and wish I'd got out the masking fluid just for that bit at least!

Gail said...

Stacy, I think this is beautiful. I don't find the masking hard edged in this piece at all. I understand completely the issues with the mask....I think it was very effective in this case.
I love your color choices. Very inspiring.

bluelilac said...

WOW! This is a winner girl!
Glad you are back!


Stacy said...

Thank you Leslie! If I set it aside for a while I can usually forget the work and see the painting more clearly. I'll give that a try and look for joy.

Thanks Andy! I loved the colors in the reference so I'm glad my colors worked.

Kay, I really focused on getting that curl and wasn't sure I was totally successful, so I was thrilled with your feedback! Thank you!

Thanks Jeanne! This fix looks better than some I have done, but I found the job of fixing to be equally as frustrating.

Laura, perfect drawing and natural looking...if I wasn't smiling before, I sure am now! Thanks so much!

Thanks Rose, I was proud of my darks because I got them in with very little fussing.

Thank you Susan! Tread lightly with the masking fluid. I wouldn't want to be responsible for the start of another love/hate relationship. ;)

Vivienne, I am glad my difficulties don't show to anyone but me, because then I know time should make them fade for me too. I actually used the masking fluid in the squeeze bottle for this (I can't remember the name right now) so the lines turned out thinner than with a brush but still not thin enough in most places.

Thanks Vikki!! It was so good to see you guys this weekend.

Thank you for the reassurance Marion!

Thanks Cathy! That edge is one of the few that I didn't have to touch. I was happy because I wanted it to be my strongest highlight.

Thank Gail! It might have been slightly less inspiring when I was at my painting table muttering to myself. :D

Thanks Blue! Maybe next month you'll join us?!?

lvetopaint said...

Stacy, This is beautiful! Your colors are so rich & you've mastered the water drops!

Kari Gibson said...

Gosh! I just love it - beautiful result indeed.

Ha, the ugly stage... been there, far too often to admit, but working through it usually does the trick.


Barbara Weeks said...

Beautiful-I love the richness of your color!

A Brush with Color said...

Lovely! It's so fun seeing what people did with the image. Just subtle, lovely color and shapes.

laine lea said...

Very, very nice handling of the medium ~ I can tell the time you put into the details....Great job!

Dougie said...

Very nice job! This looks fantastically realistic and the color blending are so smooth and beautiful. Although the center area is really nice, I particularly like the left edge where you kind of lose the leaves. That was the first part that attracted my eye. From there, moving to the right, the handling of the leaves surrounding the center cabbage is extremely well done.

Stacy said...

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! I love the support that comes from participating in this group. :)

Quilt Knit said...

Stacy! I have seen your water color many times. I am just overwhelmed at its beauty. Thank-you so much for participating in August VSD. The waiting was a killer.

Sherrie Roberts