Friday, February 01, 2008

Lessons in Art

"Mother, child, and Daddy...unfinished work"

A while back I posted the water colour painting I was working on. I have never had any 'formal' art training outside of high school, so when it comes to this medium I am well challenged. Because the lack of experience, I am now working on painting number 3. Yes 3.
"Detail of child"

If I make a mistake with acrylics or oils, I can scrape most of the paint off, wait for it to dry and begin again right over the mistake. The mistake is still there, just well hidden and only I know it's there. Not so with water colours. Or maybe, but I have no clue as how to fix a blooper, so I begin again. Each painting has taught me something new and I continue to learn with each stroke. Not too much here, lighter hand there, layer, layer, layer.
"Detail of scales on the mermaid child"

Yesterday I made a rather "duh" mistake. In my enthusiasm for something that I thought was going well, I rushed it. I forgot about the layers; and this morning when I woke up, again, it hit me. "How am I going to get around fixing this without having to redraw, repaint yet another painting?" I did a little research and headed out to the art supplier here in The Boonies, and spent some time pondering in the aisle. I came home and experimented with the former painting and tried to teach myself a new technique. It worked well enough to keep me from having to start from scratch.
"Detail of illuminated metallic scales on mermaid child. oops, blurry."

So here I am this evening assessing the day's work. My back and shoulders are sore from standing too long in one place and focusing without taking good breaks. What I have I learned?

It's called water colour for a reason, water is very important. Paper is also important. Don't go cheap. Get the best you can, pay the higher price. The better the paper the less it will bubble and curl, the better it accepts your paint.

The water colour paper wants to be prepared before you start in on it. Give it a little water before the paint and it will reward you. Keep adding water as you paint, it keeps the lines from dragging and smudging.

Think ahead and visualize what objects are in the foreground and which will be in the back. In other words, make a plan.

Use a 'masking agent' if you need to block washes from specific spaces on the paper.

No matter how well I try to hide my mistakes, I'll know they're there.

It's like life I guess. Christ was often referred to as Living Water, an Artist, and we, His canvas. We need to accept the Water and we need to be the best we can, to live up to our cost. As in the painting, we need to constantly keep Water in our painting, Christ in our life. We need to have a plan, to keep focused on those things which are just background, and those things which need our attention most.

God has given me commandments to use as a protection for those parts of my canvas I need to keep clean. It's like the masking agent for my life.

Most importantly we have been given the opportunity to repair mistakes. Yesterday I forgot the plan, I rushed into a part of my painting that should have waited. It could have ruined the entire painting, but I was able to use tools, and with patience and work, paint over the mistake. The painting is fine, just as it would have been had I not rushed. It's like repentance. Christ's atonement has given me a way to repair my personal canvas and make it as new. The thing is, even though I make mistakes, I know they are there, but He takes them completely away. I am clean again.

add to sk*rt


chronicler said...

Is.1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

One of my favorite scriptures.

Your painting looks beautiful.

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH!!! I'm so excited!!! So yesterday I stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond "just to look" and I found a duvet cover in greens and teals and yellows. I thinks its going to be perfect. I had to get it instead of waiting till I saw the painting cuz it was only $12.00 and the only one left.
Your amazing! I can't wait for "Jesus" to see it!!

Adán said...

Great post. Keep up the good work on the painting! It is important to branch out into more areas, adding to your own painting. Have a good one.

Red said...

All I can say is AMEN.

I am always amazed at the way you're able to put things into words. Btw the painting looks amazing.

S'mee said...

Thanks everyone! This has been soooo long, I feel terrible about how very long it has taken me to get this far along with the painting, but then again, there's another life lesson. When (if) I ever finish this thing I'll post a better photo of it!