Scales

I haven’t played the violin in many years, but I remember playing scales. Scales and arpeggios are the basic building blocks of music, that is, music with which I am familiar, anyway.  I hope to play again some day, but I know that I will have to start from scratch, trying to play each note clearly; when I play series of notes, getting proper intonation of each; paying attention to my bow arm as well.  I need to do this before I can hope to play a piece of music.

I feel I need some kind of regimen for watercolor painting as well. I like to think of this process in the same way an athlete warms up before a game, or a singer vocalizes before a concert.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I will be following the Tate Watercolour Manual, Lessons from the Great Masters by Tony Smibert and Joyce Townsend. I fully expect to be painting like Claude Lorraine, John Constable, J.M.W. Turner and others at the end of the course. [author’s note: I wish]

Today I mixed colors: cobalt blue, yellow ochre, as directed, and cadmium red light for the ‘light red’ the book suggested.

Here is my chart for the day:

Chart with 4 panes for practicing with watercolors

Back to Basics

I learned that cobalt blue needs a lot of pigment to make a dark wash (see upper left panel). The suggestion to mix washes of cobalt blue and light red did not yield as gray a mixture as shown in the book, but rather a dirty purple-looking stain (see upper right panel).

The lower right panel is a collection of a few dry-brush strokes, while the left panel shows wet-on-wet brush strokes.

I know this is not much of a start, but J.M.W. Turner, here I come!

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