Evolution of an Image- Mare Island watercolor series



Over the last week, I've posted a series of painting on Facebook that were inspired by a spit of land on Mare Island.  Today, I'm collating them here.

Most of these images are small- 1/8th sheet (7.5" x 11" or 5.5" x 15")- but I've found this the best size for me to iterate things with.  1/8th sheet is just big enough to compose something on, but no so big I get lost in the details.  I don't worry about messing up or wasting paper either- I've got 7 other sheets available.  What this has really allowed me to do is iterate with abandon, try stuff out, experiment, and not worry to much about whether I was successful or not.  They were all "tests" anyways, right?


I did this first one in Bjorn Bernstrom's workshop (which I'll be posting about later).  It's actually quarter sheet (15" x 11").  I loved the dark blue greens, but it's really very raw and shadows were a bit "chunky" for me.  I was looking for cleaner washes.


Then I did these next two ones.  1/8th sheet.  Playing with wet into wet techniques, deliberate back runs, and figuring out the technical sequence I needed to use to get the paint to do what I wanted.




The more I painted it, the more I wanted to play with the sky.  So I opened it up to vertical 1/8th sheets, and got these.  It's hard to keep that back bleeding, wet into wet stuff in order!  Took a couple of tries.



After that, I began to "grow" the composition. I felt like I was getting some sense of control over the backbleeds and the composition.  I wanted to stretch the image vertically more and more.  This next one was a vertical quarter sheet- (7.5" x 22").