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Waste Not Want Not

As an artist, more than I’d like to admit, “waste not want not” has a lot to do with how I function.  It took me a long time to decide to switch from watercolor to acrylic, partly because I already had tons of unused watercolor supplies: paper, brushes, paint, etc. which would all be “wasted” if I didn’t use them.

Now that I’m using acrylics, I’m careful not to buy too much paint, because you never know what you might want or need in the future.  Maybe I’ll ultimately decide not to continue working with fluid acrylics, or whatever.  In my abstract sketch class, I continue to use my watercolors to do the sketches (it will take me forever to use them up this way) and I sketch on both sides of the paper, because I’m never sure at that stage which sketch will turn into a successful acrylic painting.

Then, once I’ve done the painting, if it’s successful and I like it, I might still decide to do the painting of the sketch on the other side. Hey, it might be even better than the one I just finished. And if not, no harm done.

If a painting isn’t completely successful, I have a couple of options.  For example:

Wishing (initial painting)

Wishing (initial painting)

I actually like this, but that red swoop at the top right is just too dominant (and the yellow and orange squares), and everything just sorta gets washed out at the bottom.  So my first line of attack is to crop it vertically (you can see the pencil line telling me where) and horizontally.

Wishing (cropped)

Wishing (cropped)

This is much better, but I’m actually only cropping it digitally, not really cutting it up.  And that’s because my second line of attack is to paint the sketch on the other side and see which I like more.  Either way, whoever buys it, gets two for the price of one.  And that really is “waste not want not.”

Posted by ruthhurd on January 29, 2016

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