Today’s watercolor experiment:
Today’s experiment is a rendering of a trompe l’oeil mural that is based on a photograph I took in Midtown Manhattan in 1989. I was wandering around, enjoying the sights at the Memorial Day block party. I wasn’t thinking in terms of graffiti when I took the picture, but it fits with my graffiti series of watercolors.
‘Trompe l’oeil’ is a term means a visual illusion intended to trick the eye into perceiving a flat surface as three dimensional. I’m sure it is not appropriate to apply this term to a watercolor or even a photograph of a trompe l’oeil mural. But I digress…
I sketched the scene with a pencil, as I usually do, except I used a .3mm mechanical pencil to accommodate the fine details. After inking the pencil outlines and watercoloring the mural and surrounding wall, I streaked the mural with white gouache and provided emphasis with strokes of my fine-tipped pen, to imitate the photograph.
Unlike the photo and watercolor of yesterday, where the pattern on the wall is ambiguous, today’s photograph is very specific. I do like today’s photo and watercolor, but a bit of ambiguity goes a long way.