New Approach

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I bought a new brush today. I never had one like it before. It a 3/4″ oval wash brush. The bristles are about an inch long and they area smooth and flexible.

I started today’s watercolor by using this brush to see how it works. After I soaked the paper with water, I used perinone orange, which I have found disperses like crazy on a wet field, to trace out a profile. The smoothness of the brush translated directly to how it paints the paper: smooth as silk.

I doubled the 3/4″ outline with another stroke, this time using cadmium orange, and yet another stroke using a warm orange (which was more on the red side).  Perhaps as a result of my Janus study, I thought of painting another profile facing the other way.  I wasn’t thinking of the Janus character however, but rather the concept of introspection. The second profile is contained within the first profile.

I painted the outside the inner-looking profile, with a blue black mixture, which sometimes is how I feel inside. The outside of the outward-looking profile is tinted with quinacridone purple.

The dichotomy of an inward and outward-looking profile got me thinking of division. In geometry, I used to love bisecting lines using a compass. Setting the compass radius to the length of the line to be sectioned, and placing the point of the compass on one end of the line, I would draw an arc. Repeating the process with the compass point on the other end of the line, the arcs would intersect above and below the line. Drawing a line from one arc intersect to the other would bisect the original line.

In today’s study, I didn’t actually bisect the line. However the idea behind overlaying this faux geometry on my watercolor sketch, was to look at introspection as a kind of bisect of one’s view of the world: an outlook, which everyone understand; and, to coin a phrase, an ‘inlook’, my word for introspection, or introvertedness.

Behold, Introspection Bisection:

Watercolor: Abstract - Two profiles looking away from each other; Arcs circumscribe each face; Lines join arc intersections bisecting a horizontal line

Introspection Bisection
12″x9″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

3 thoughts on “New Approach

  1. Well Jack, I like this a lot. It is a very powerful image, very evocative indeed. Are you going to do some more work on it or leave it as is?
    I’m well thank you, very busy still. There seems to be a never ending stream of things that I need to organise and do lately, not least because I have made the decision to emigrate to the US after long deliberation.
    I hope life is treating you and yours well. It’s lovely to catch up with you again.



    • Thank you, M. Great to reconnect. I’ve been negligent in commenting on your posts and photos, which I enjoy very much.

      Yes, my experiment that started with a ‘brush test’ ended up saying something; interesting how inspiration can come from a mundane mark on the paper. I’m going to leave it as is, with an option to build on it in another watercolor sketch.

      Congrats on moving to the US. Will you be on the east coast? Boston, perhaps? Great town, although I am much more familiar with NYC. Hope you get out to the west coast. It’s nice out here.

      All the best, my good friend!



      • It’s nice to see you about on my blogs irrespective of comments. I always feel privileged that you take the time to pass on by. It’s me that’s really been remiss with keeping connected with blog pals such as yourself.
        Thank you for the good wishes Jack. I shall be moving to North Maryland. NYC is still on my list. At least it’ll be closer than it is at the moment. Three hours by train I’m told?
        Although I think the next big trip for us will be Route 66, with cameras in tow, so I’ll get to experience the west coast.
        As for your watercolour work, I am keen to see where you take it next. You keep reminding me that I should get back to painting. Perhaps when all the dust has settled I will be able to.

        Best wishes to you too!



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