Defining your artwork.

Not everyone has the same understanding what realism entails or any other style actually means to each person. My perception of what impressionism for example compared to someone else’s can be very different; plus the way it is approached and painted. For example; to me painting Realism is not necessarily Photo realism; two different approaches. Photo realism is the painting dot to dot for an exact copy. Realism is the enjoyment of a style portraying life-like perception.

Like I have stated before do not ever be afraid of trying a style of painting because you think you can not or know how to approach or even begin. As an artist we want to say we are or like realism for example and paint that way. Try not to put yourself in a box of style. You can say or paint realism in or with an expressive background. Remember each medium has  limits to what it can do and not do. Pick your mediums to what you expect your artwork to look like. Use the mediums’ strength to enhance your work. This is your job to figure it out, there are no quick answers. A medium or artwork style will define itself over time and many paintings later. You also may think you want to paint in one medium vs. another, but do not be too quick to judge yourself. When I first started painting watercolor landscapes they were awful! I never really knew I could paint tightly refined portraits until I just sat and tried. Don’t give up! You need a smart talented teacher to help you. Take a few lessons with me and I can help you. Send me your questions and I can try to demonstrate a few post.

You can not paint if you do not know how to draw!

I am very serious and I suggest saying a prayer before you begin. I tell you the truth when I say God is interested in what makes you happy and what you desire as long as it is on the right path of course. I never knew I could paint portraits, I was painting fire hydrants for six weeks in a lame ass class with a lame ass teacher that painted orange people! I am serious, it was awful. The black and white watercolor painting on my blog was my first watercolor attempt painting people in which I earned a big fat “F”!  Who cares?  I know it is good.

My point today is you need to learn the medium and what it can do for you. Watercolor  and all other mediums have their own identity. These mediums deserve respect for what they can do; you need to learn their capabilities. Watercolor can be loose and free of course and it can made tight or realistic style. It is all about learning what each layer of wc can do and learning what your brushes can do as well. Use what the medium can do to enhance your work, you may never think that acrylics for example is your thing but it may Fit your style and convey what you are trying to portray. Maybe the raised paint or thickness of the paint can be more expressive for you. Think about what the mediums capabilities are and how they can benefit your work?

The following picture is Joan’s and the first layers of color; now if this is the level of realism that you want you can keep it at this stage. I suggest working the entire painting to a certain point and then go back into the painting to add more realism. The pear started out with a citrine green followed by a little spot of red. To start to define shape a raw Siena was added all on a wet surface. Remember the highlights and where the light is coming from? Now this pear can stay at this stage or be fine tuned for realism. Work up the entire painting then looking at it from far away [5 feet] to see what you want to add or continue with.

Very important: The value scale of colors. Every layer of the same color will add one level or shade of value to the color or hue. Watercolor is about Layers.

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