Friday, December 9, 2011

Unpredictable Colors Drying Together

This is the latest watercolor that I cranked out.  This rendering is for the City of Phoenix for the Center for the Arts.  This project is under construction as we speak!  As I got started I knew I wanted to create a sense of place on the lawn in front of the main entrance.  Sense of place means lots of people doing real things.  You must understand that you will never find the same group of ontourage *technical architectural term that means drawings of people* in my watercolors. Each watercolor is unique in that way.  It is staged for how I see the place being used.

Staging my peeps takes longer than anything.  Each group of people will be traced 3 times.   The first trace is on my grand light table *big as a coffee table*.  I want accuracy in my peeps.  I like to see cell phones, fashion forward apparel and nice hair.  

This is how it starts.  See this lady trying to eat her lunch in peace?  This was taken by me when I was with Jani at Harvard Yard this October.  Nobody seems very happy at this place and most peeps wore dark drab colors.  

You can see the first trace which is on buff paper *technical term for transparent cheap paper on a roll*.  I cut the tracing out and literally arrange the person to scale with the architecture. I usually have my favorite peeps in all of my watercolors.  I can tell you right now that I dispise the man walking behind this Harvard lady on the bench.  He looks like he just got off his TV couch and has onion breath. I don't like biking girl either.  Her shorts are so 80's.  I never like the computer generated ontourage.

After I stage all the peeps, trees and shadows on my original pencil staged drawing *had to be there*, I again trace everything to the final watercolor paper.  This is how she turned out. The guy in the back has a cantalope head growth. This time I used my original photo from Harvard Yard to help me with what everybody was wearing. I stayed with dark blues and grays and then let the architecture speak with the rich terra cotta paint.  Um, three coats.

I like how the sky and grass turned out.  I start with those first.  I always despise my watercolors until the shadows are painted on. Shadows are the eyeliner of any watercolor. The contrast of sharp detail against unpredictable colors drying together is quite sublime.

I wonder if the Harvard lady will ever find out?

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