I decided to devote more time to each of my watercolors. Yesterday’s watercolor was a step in the right direction: I drew the Elliott Bay Book Co. sketch the night before I painted it. I think it came out pretty well, although a little cartoonish.
In keeping with my bookstore theme, I began a sketch of another one today: Bowie & Weatherford Booksellers Inc.. I don’t know if they are still in business or where they are located. I would venture to guess it was in Seattle.
Here is the photograph from which I am working:
It want to a bit more realism in the watercolor, so I went back to the drawing board, almost literally. Since I work with a block of watercolor and I don’t wish to detach the paper until I’m finished painting, it was impossible to use a drawing board. Instead, I placed my horizontal lines by measuring the same distance on each side of the paper, making marks and connecting the dots. Pretty torturous. I found my dividers and compass, which made the job a bit easier. All this sounds as if everything should come out very precisely and symmetrically. In this case, that is my goal.
Here is the sketch I did today:
At some point in more detailed work I get pretty frustrated and end up rushing things. I should probably work more on the sketch, but I’m not going to draw in all of the bricks. On the other hand, where do I stop drawing and start painting? I’ll give it more thought and report on my progress tomorrow.
On day’s when I don’t show a watercolor experiment, I will present some of my photographs. I took the photograph below during my wanderings around New York City. There used to be posters all over the place in various stages of wear and tear. I looked for some of the more interesting ones, the more ambiguous the better.
I must have been experimenting with framing of images on this outing. The focal point is the eye looking out at the very bottom left of the picture plane. Once a viewer notices the eye, the rest of the image makes sense. Black and white also helps to make the image more ambiguous. Taken as a whole, this image is a bit unbalanced, but that’s ok.
There is a time for precision and a time for being off balance.