Monday, March 24, 2014

Cactus Apples

Cactus Apples
Image Size 18" x 24"
Watercolor
I really fought with this painting.  I started it as a poured painting just doing one layer and then directly painted the rest of it.  I used Arches 140# paper which is usually really tough and easy to use but I had trouble glazing this without the previous layers lifting.  I'm not sure if that happened because the poured pigments sit on the surface or because the sizing was bad.  This is a piece of paper that I bought recently.  I've heard from many people that Arches has changed their sizing and I haven't talked to any artists that like the new formulation so maybe that was the problem.  This also seemed to buckle much more than my previous paintings on this brand of paper.

Anyway, I like the final look that I got by starting with a poured layer.  Also, I think the analogous color scheme gives this painting a very soothing feeling.

14 comments:

  1. Bonjour ma chère amie,
    e ne sais pas si vous avez souffert pour créer cette aquarelle mais je la trouve superbe.
    Moi qui suis complètement novice, j'essaie de comprendre ce que vous écrivez en ce qui concerne la qualité du papier qui modifie les pigments de vos couleurs... Je n'aime pas en ce qui me concerne travailler à l'huile sur des toiles qui ne sont pas celles que j'ai l'habitude d'utiliser. J'ai mis des années à aboutir à celles que j'emploie aujourd'hui. J'ai testé, testé beaucoup d'entre elles et enfin j'ai trouvé celles qui me conviennent. Alors je comprends qu'il est difficile de changer.
    Gros bisous

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    1. Merci Martinealison. Je pense qu'il est amusant d'expérimenter avec différents matériaux d'art et trouver ceux qui sont parfaits pour moi.

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  2. I think it is beautiful, Nancy. I love the watery colors...my favorite palette. You couldn't prove it by me that you had any issues with the paper whatsoever. You know what I am finding with Arches paper? I recently bought two blocks of the watercolor paper, two different sizes. On both of them, I cannot get the top piece off the block with it tearing the painting. And I use an exacto knife to help me and it still tears. Super frustrating.

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    1. Thank you Sherry. I've had that trouble with the blocks in the past also.

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  3. Whatever you did, you did right as this turned out so well.
    As to Arches #140 that's what I use also.. That wasn't always the case, but since I have I sometimes wonder what all the fuss is about as everyone seems to prefer it. I don't work larger than 11x14 (only once in a blue moon) so I don't stretch my paper, just tape it to a board, and when I leave it I put heavy books on it.
    That seems to work for me as to the buckling.

    I've just received some Fabriano Artistico in sheets and I'll see how that compares.

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    1. Thank you Barbra Joan. I don't stretch my paper anymore and usually I don't have much of a problem. I think I will do my next painting on Waterford 200#. That has a nice soft surface, it doesn't buckle and it's easy to use.

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  4. Like the colors and these are the cactus fruits that you can eat right?

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    1. I think you can eat them but these wouldn't be ripe yet (since they are green) and I'm not sure I'm that adventurous anyway.

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  5. Hi Nancy (again) .. thanks for the visit, and I wanted to say I'll be trying different papers also..
    The one paper I use to love working on was Winsor Newton c/p 140 lb. I just remembered it now that you mention a soft surface .. that was what I liked most .

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  6. I've never tried that paper. I'll have to get some and see how I like it.

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  7. A soothing palette for a prickly subject... I like it! I'm sure you're glad you persisted through all the technical problems :)

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    1. Technical problems usually make a painting more interesting to tackle and I'm glad I was able to pull it through the challenge.

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  8. This is SO beautifully painted, Nancy! Love the soft colors and perfect shadows... I saw so many of these beauties in Tucson when I visited my brother-in-law!

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