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Art is all about process

An artist friend of mine is really mostly interested in the process when she paints, rather than the end result.  Iris is all about experimenting with this color added to that, the effect of adding this kind of paint to that, etc.  The result is mostly interesting to her because it raises more questions.

I, on the other hand,  have always been about the end result:  I experiment primarily to learn how to get the result I want, not for its own sake.  In my quest to learn how to create abstract art, however, I’m moving closer to her camp than ever before (possibly because I don’t always know what I want in advance).  Two evenings a week I try to abstract from the model at the Art Students League.  I’ve been using pastels on newsprint paper mostly because it’s cheaper and I don’t feel so inhibited about wasting a sheet of paper if I don’t like the result (unfortunately, often the case).

Since I just finished the newsprint pad, this week I’m going to try ink and watercolor crayons on watercolor paper.  The ink will force me to be looser and the crayons are an interesting way to get intense color but also be able to spread it around and vary the intensity using water.

Last week in my studio at home, I took one pastel sketch from the last class that Frank (my teacher) and I liked to use as raw material.   Here’s the pastel sketch.

Pastel Sketch

Pastel Sketch

First, I tried to do something similar but different with ink and watercolor.  I liked the effect of the spraying on the ink, but the ink was too dominant.  It overpowered the watercolor. Adding gouache to see if it could cover over some of the ink worked with the darker green, but not with the lighter colors.

So I tried doing another sketch with watercolor pencil and spraying that and then adding the watercolor.  Here’s the result.

Abstraction from the Model II

Abstraction from the Model II



I didn’t get enough of an effect from the spraying so I tried a third version, this time making the watercolor pencil lines a little heavier.  A little better, but still no cigar.  I walked away and went back an hour later and decided to intensify some of the colors.  Much better.  Here’s the result.

Abstraction from the Model III

Abstraction from the Model III

Since the ink from the first try was appealing but just too strong, I decided to go back and try to intensify the colors there.  Also much better.

Abstraction from the Model

Abstraction from the Model

I like this one the best so far.

This week, I’ll try doing the initial sketch with the watercolor crayons and maybe spraying that.  We’ll see what that looks like and go from there.

This is fun …

Posted by ruthhurd on December 6, 2010

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