More practice with water colors. In my previous post, I had said I had in mind a more opaque application. I was thinking of Chinese ink but wanted to see if the water colors could do the same thing. They couldn’t. So this time, I actually used Chinese ink as a contrast to the water colors, while keeping the water colors light and airy.
I drew most of the lines in one sitting, but worked on filling in the shapes over several days, making sure I didn’t rush the decisions for which colors I would use and where. It’s a good exercise when you’re using the same set of forms, like a language. It becomes an exercise in how these forms can interact with each other and how to fill up the space given.
I wanted to rely on lines as little as possible, because this was an exercise on what water colors (and hence shapes filled in) can do and not lines. I was thinking of Miro’s Woman Encircled By the Flight of a Bird (1941) and other works, and began by doing some automatic drawing. The flow of the lines was its key feature, so the challenge (and the main idea) would be to express the play of lines from the interaction of shapes.
In the end, I couldn’t let go of all the lines. If I used more shapes to show the presence of a line, I could add too many shapes and make the drawing feel congested. But if I simply erased the straggling lines, it would cut the flow of some of the shapes too soon.
Water color paper (Strathmore 400)
Water colors (Roel, Acuarelas Italianas)