Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WCW #11: Using References

Modern Florals
Happy Watercolor Wednesday everyone! This week's post begs the question: Is it better to use a reference or not to use a reference? I would imagine for the more experienced artists, either one would likely be a personal preference. While I like the painting above, I did not use a reference for the composition. Perhaps that's why when I was painting it, I felt like everything was going well until I started adding the pink blooms in the upper left corner. As more elements were added, the composition began shifting for me, and I felt as though I was losing control over the piece. I think one thing that helped me most has been my experience with card-making. That's when I added some interest with smaller flowers of a different color, and then all was well...or at least better...again.

In my Blueberries composition, I was looking at a photo, and I found it was much easier and comforting to have a guide for the placement of the berries. Once that was accomplished, I used the photo to get a feel for the leaves. I then added those as I saw fit since the photo only had one or two leaves displayed. It does seem odd to have only a few 'blue' blueberries, but the photo was taking by a person I follow on Instagram, and the blueberries are only now beginning to ripen.

Yellow Flower Wreath
This painting is a combination of a watercolor wreath on Instagram and the yellow flowers I painted earlier in my journey. It was nice to be able to repeat a flower I had learned earlier in a different form or composition. So, for now, I think I do much better using a reference. For the next week, I'm going to focus on using references to help strengthen my composition skills.

In the meantime, how do you like to paint? With a reference or without? Please comment below...I'd love to hear from you! Until next, paint your heart out!!

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