Cloud Studies

July 21, 2020

Sometimes there’s a need to trample on whole bunches of internal dos and don’ts, accumulated over years of anal retentive watercolour practices.

‘Don’t premix washes–glaze one pigment over another right on the paper’; ‘Don’t soak the paper in the bathtub and then stretch it on a stretcher–it removes the lovely sizing’; ‘Don’t get obsessed with detail–be expressive’; ‘Don’t use opaque white’; ‘Don’t use so much masking fluid’; ‘Don’t be so timid’; ‘Don’t paint today–you aren’t centred’.

Lordy. I went to the sink, grabbed a kitchen sponge and some dollar store poster board.

“Approaching Storm”, 8″ x 10″, watercolour, by Lance Weisser, white poster board

For all who might be equally plagued by a mental build-up of watercolour dos and don’ts, have a look at this example of watercolour exploration and artistic daring:

12 Responses to “Cloud Studies”

  1. Sabiscuit said

    Thanks so much. Victoria will be happy to know you’ve enjoyed her work. She is a young artist from Singapore and I am very happy to support her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. …..Sabiscuit, thank you–the illustrations of Victoria Seow on your site are so striking, Lance

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ….thank you very much for your encouraging words, Kerfe–you and Claudia work your charms on paper and rocks and us, your fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ….thank you for the link to Ms. Rice’s demo, and you supportive comments, Mike. As much as I’m drawn towards the abstract, free-wheeling techniques of Ms. Gemzoe and Ms. Rice, it’s not me. Early on, I chose to be representational in my approach, which roughly means remaining true to what one’s subject matter looks like visually. With that in mind, there come all sorts of dos and don’ts in order to pull off a painting which–to the viewer–looks like the subject. There are a whole host of ‘rules’ which come into play when a painter chooses the path of abstraction–for abstract paintings have their own set of issues.
    I know there are endless discussions in photography-land over ‘rules’ pertaining to saturation, dropping in internet-available skies (or not), granulation standards, positioning of the subject, enhancements, etc.
    And yes……lifting out anything on this ‘storm’ painting would have been disastrous because poster board has no weave and simply shreds!


  5. ….and Susan you are making others happy for doing what you do. Thank you for following my site!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aren’t rules made to be broken? Of course it helps if one knows the rules first. When it comes to art whether it’s right or wrong I am enjoying doing what I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. memadtwo said

    The result is lovely. I don’t even know the rules, so I’m sure I break them all the time…(k)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. As you know, I am playing around with watercolors. I don’t know most of the rules, so I haven’t really internalized them. Just moments ago I was watching a video by a watercolorist named Karen Rice and she painted a cityscape using a piece of a credit card, a spritzer bottle, and a little wooden peg ( . I’m open to try almost anything. By the way, I’m impressed with your poster board painting, which shows that materials matter only to a somewhat limited extent. I suspect that you would have had a bit of a challenge lifting a color (as I did today when I was practicing on a cellulose-based paper).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sabiscuit said

    That’s a lovely list of things to try, Michael. I’m working on a project with deconstructed paper using ink instead of watercolours. I might have internalised some rules and I need to break them. 💚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you very much. I don’t plan to.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Michael, if you’re breaking photography rules? Please don’t stop.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Brilliant. Rules are meant to be broken. But very often the people who break them best are the ones who know them best.


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