posted 5/4/04 on LJ
Well after a crummy week and really bad head cold that sent me home on Thursday for a much needed 3-day weekend, I worked on my painting of Emily on Saturday and Sunday. First I worked on the sketch making some changes that Missy suggested. Then I sat there for the longest time comtemplating what to do next. I was really afraid to put paint on it. But I decided what the heck it’s just paper. So I just got started on the backgound. I tried to do as Ursula said and work on the background first, I really did. I got pretty far, but I got bored with it and decided I really needed to get some color on the figures to know how this was going to work.

I discovered something, painting branches is fun. Once you get the rhythm going you kind of just let them flow and branch off wherever the brush decides they want to be. And they actually look rather natural and organic as a result. brushing on pine needles however is a bit tedious. This picture is woefully done in that restrictive realistic fashion that demanded individual needles. I said realistic but not photo realism. It’s really more primitive than that. It’s very illustrative, but doesn’t really have the personality or flair of “art.” I wonder if I can learn that?

As I was working on this last night I had that “coloring” Zen feeling. I haven’t felt that since I was kid. Well, not specifically around coloring anyway. I remember so looking forward to Christmas because it often meant a new box of Crayolas; the box of 64 with the built-in crayon sharpener and a variety of new color books too. After getting that gift, I could lay in the middle of the floor with all kinds of chaos happening around me and never hear anything. I was in the Zone. The coloring Zen Zone. Sometimes just the smell of new crayons makes me misty.

I have the trees and the figures almost done. But the grass needs WORK. Missy said dismissively of a painting we saw of grass, that “anybody can paint grass.” Well, I think I can categorically say that I’m not anybody. So I am going to be working on this grass for a while trying to get it right, or at least passable. The whole thing looks pretty OK, but the colors are really bright, maybe raw is the right word. Too bright to be real. And I only have three colors of gouche, red, yellow, blue, plus white and black. No I’m not a purist, I’m just cheap. I wanted to be sure I’d like doing this before I invest in paint. I also have 24 prismacolor pencils. (Not even a box of 64!) But by layering I think I can get enough out of this stuff for this effort. If it turns out, maybe I’ll invest in more supplies.