At the present time I don't seem to be able to get much time for my painting, life has a habit of getting in the way. So, a brief opportunity to break out the watercolours was very welcome. However that doesn't necessarily mean that the time spent is going to leave one with a sense of satisfaction. This was one of those times.
The first image is a partner piece to my picture of Joseph Skipsey, posted a while ago. I have a real interest in some of the old photographs depicting the world inhabited by my grandparents and in particular those with a relationship to the Durham coalfield. This is an attempt at a well known picture of the famous Durham coalfield songsmith, Tommy Armstrong.
Why dissatisfied? Well for me the harsh edge to the shadow on the left cheek, the lack of real dark tone in the eye passage and the slipshod finishing at the bottom of the page detract from the overall effect. As I look at it the coat could have had a better treatment by keeping the paint fluid while trying to introduce a range of balanced colours. How would you have done it?
Tommy Armstrong - watercolour on Fabriano Artistico 14" x 11"
The second piece is based on a photograph taken on our recent trip to the States. In this one, whilst I have achieved one aim, that of creating credible recession, the detailing of the main bluff is crude and the shadow work across the piece is less than impressive.
Lessons have been registered in line with the comments above, but for me the main lesson is to maintain a regular contact with the medium so that I approach each excursion with some recent experience to strengthen the technique. Preparation of materials is also important, I still find myself avoiding putting out fresh paint as often as I should. Hopefully, these lessons will not be so quickly forgotten as they were the last time I 'learned' them.