Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Traveling the Creative Process

Traveling Softly/before
Watercolor Pencil on paper, 4x4"
60/100 in 100

So I decided to try the various media on this Traveling series. Here I picked up my watercolor pencils and colored it in. It sure does take a long time to do something in watercolor pencil. It ended up being a little too soft for me, without enough definition to make me happy.

That's when I remembered that they were WATERcolor pencils. So I took my brush and washed the paper.

Traveling Softly/ after
Watercolor Pencil with water wash

The paper? Not so much watercolor paper. But I still liked playing with the medium. With the wash it turned out much different than just the drawn pencil. Very different, but I still like it, and I think I like it better.

Traveling Gray
watercolor and acrylic on paper 4" square
61/100 in 100

Here I tried straight watercolor.

Truth is, I'm pretty rusty with watercolors. There was a time, years and years ago, when watercolor was my main medium. I carried my little travel paint set around with me where ever I went, and when I had time, I'd sit in a cafe window and paint the street, or find a park bench and paint the trees.

It's been a long time since then, and I felt awkward when I opened my travel set and awkward when I set brush to paper. Again, this is not watercolor pencil and was the complete wrong ground for even a light wash. But on top of that, this is just not the right way to use the medium. I added the lines in white acrylic just to try to make something of it.

But I don't consider this experiment a success.

What I do consider a success is that I am trying different things. I like this idea of using different media for the same subject. I think it's a great exercise for exploring the media, and for discovering what you like, what works, what doesn't, what pulls your attention.

So I think I'll keep trying at my various media. And someday soon, perhaps I'll show some other watercolors that are more successful than this one.

This is not about the end results, not right now. And it's hard for me sometimes to not always present a perfect piece... but I remind myself that this is after all, about the journey. This is the process of creativity.


Querulous Squirrel said...

I love all your landscapes.

JES said...

What Squirrel said.

Just out of curiosity, since I've never even heard of watercolor pencil before: after it's applied but before you go back over with water, is it dry-dusty, like chalk? or more like... um... dry-waxy, like crayon? or something else?

I was wondering if an advantage of the pencils over actual watercolors might be short-term portability -- that you could create the work, then stick it between the leaves of a journal (or whatever) for safekeeping and later wetting. If it's like chalk, though, that may not be possible; could smear just as easily as true (not-yet-dry) watercolor.

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