Monday, October 02, 2006

No drawing


Partly inspired by Karen Winters and partly by my painting students who paint incredible still lives in acrylic and oil without drawing first (because I force them to), I decided to try a watercolor without drawing first. I never tried this with watercolors, I always made some kind of underdrawing, in ink or just a few light pencil lines.

The house is on the street where I live, it looked golden yellow in yesterday´s low evening sun, though it is built from red bricks. I think I killed the right (dark) side of it by putting too many layers of color there. Isn´t that kind of funny, how you can work and work on a watercolor and then suddenly you put that one layer too many, and "oops, the color died!". Oh well.

I like this technique, it gives the colors a chance to show what they can do, and it makes the brushwork more important. There are no lines to stay inside, the brushes leave their marks as freely as can be. I´m not a 100% happy with this particular result, but I can see that I work in a totally different way like this, and I will certainly keep doing it. It gives me a lot more freedom to concentrate on the colors, instead of lines. Interesting.

I don´t know the exact size of this, I didn´t measure it, but it was made on a page in my large Moleskine Watercolor, that should give an idea of it´s size. It goes all the way out to the edges of the paper, another novelty for me...

15 comments:

wagonized said...

Nina -- i like the unrestrained quality of this painting. I like particularly what is happening in the foreground, and how you did the tree. Looking forward to your next watercolor without drawing.

Karen at Pen in Hand said...

Nina - this is lovely, and it does seem very different from you (that is - a different kind of loveliness.) Can you share any more about how you went about this, i.e., did you work light to dark? How did you get that nice sharp edge at the roofline? Watercolor is still such a mystery to me, since mostly I've used it to "color in" my line drawings. Any details on technique would be much appreciated - probably by more than just me. Thanks!

Lin said...

WOW!!! AWESOME!!!! INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL!

melissa said...

I think it's great that you are practicing what you preach to your students. I do the same with my kids weekly sketchbook assignment

Karen said...

Nina, you did a fabulous job with this - great work. It does feel different, doesn't it? Once you try it this way it's something you'll want to do again and again.

SCquiltaddict said...

Very nice...lovely colors!

Toni said...

It's very freeing to paint like this.
My watercolor teacher years ago said I needed to learn to draw with my brush and paint. The effect are always different.

Virginia Hanley said...

I agree that it is a different feeling, to just start with the color, as opposed to coloring in a drawing. I'm still torn between the 2 methods. As for the color on this end of the building being "dead", maybe that emphasizes the warmth of the sunlit facade. Very nice, Nina.

Jen said...

HI Nina,

Like you I have tried painting directly without a drawing first. My roses on my blog were my first and I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased about how they turned out. Love your paintings as always.
Jen

Renate said...

Yes that looks very different from what you show us normally. But beautiful, too. The sun glow on the house is great and I like the dark trunks.

Kay Cox said...

I love the freshness of this painting. Very nice...hope you try it again.

suzanne said...

Wow, I love this. You captured the light so well.

Anonymous said...

Nina, I'm a lurker on EDM since this summer. Found much to enjoy at your blogspot. Been away on vacation for a week or so and now just catching up on a few of the digests. Today picked up at a local used book shop Itten's The Elements of Color. When I saw this quote on p 18 thought I'd leave it for you. It's stated very extremely perhaps too much so. But if it may be worth conderation and it has not already been brought up in some of the discussion I've not caught up with yet, the quote:

If color is the chief vehicle of expression, composition must begin with color areas, and these will determine the lines. He who first draws lines and then adds color will never succeed in producing a clear, intense color effect. Colors have dimensions and directionality of their own, and dilineate areas in their own way.

ElizM

Terry Banderas said...

Nice "no drawing". I appreciate your comments and thoughts. There is so much planning needed for watercolor painting. With no underdrawing you Reeaaaalllly need to plan.

Some art styles you may be interested in can be found at: http://www.allthingswatercolor.com/index.html (Woody Hansen)

http://www.aquarellist.com/ (David Peterson)

It looks like both of these artists paint first then use Sharpies or whatever pen over the top. Talk about loose...... Looking forward to more of your artwork.

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Very nice. It has a fresh feel to it. I like the composition and the colors used.