What’s That Feeling?

Did you ever have a time when you couldn’t identify a feeling?  With me, sometimes it manifests itself in being crabby to everyone. When I do have an unidentifiable feeling, I try to reason it out. I ask myself, “When was the last time you ate?” or “Did you get enough sleep last night?” Depending on the answers, I can tell myself, “Oh, you missed breakfast, you must be feeling hungry.” Or, “Ah, I got up at 4:30 this morning, no wonder. You must tired.”

This happened to me in a waiting room the other day. I asked myself those questions and I still didn’t know what I was feeling. But I did have my sketchbook with me.

Today’s watercolor experiment:


I started by drawing a hole in my on my craft-paper journal. That’s what the feeling felt like… a little. Then I drew a slump-shouldered arch. I once saw a person in a nursing home from the back. She was steering her walker. I couldn’t see anything but her back from my vantage point. Her head was down. She must have been concentrating very hard on where she was going.  I was trying really hard to put pencil to paper in a visual description of what my feeling was, although probably not as hard as that lady.

I drew a bit of the back of my head as an arch poking above the shoulders.


I soaked the paper but only swept the lower part with a wide brush loaded with ultramarine deep. I took care of the blotting as usual and made sure to blot a big hole in the middle. After this dried, I replaced the ultramarine with cerulean around the edges and turquoise toward the center. I gave this spot some time to dry then I dabbed in some of my dark blue (probably indanthrone) hoping that it would diffuse just enough for a spidery web effect. After drying, I elephant-ear sponged out the pigment in the center, leaving the dark ring on the outside, with a turquoise inner ring.

It occurred to me that the feeling in my center made its way to my head. I painted Winsor and cadmium red rays, blending into the orange-tinted gamboge, ending in the greenish lemon yellow. The lemon yellow color seemed a good fit for the space above the stooped ultramarine shoulders. I tinted that area with some of the greenish blues that I had on my palette.

Finally, I echoed the lemon yellow and formed a ring inside the turquoise. The very last touch of paint on paper was the red dot at the center of it all.

Watercolor: Abstract - Unidentified Feeling

What’s that Feeling?
9″x12″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block


I don’t think I felt fiery. But this could have been the persona I projected.

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