Saturday, January 20, 2018

Oysters II

This is a small-format (7" x 10") painting that I did in July 2017, not long after I did Oysters I. I really liked the shapes in the larger painting, and I wanted to stare at that turquoise a bit more.

By way of research, I googled pearl oyster images in order to get a better idea what they really look like. Some looked kind of pretty all cleaned up with their little pearl embedded, but many of the images of cultured pearl oysters were not pretty at all; the oysters had had rows of pearls implanted, and they looked like they were covered internally with cancerous growths. 

The mental image of pearl oysters with cancer stuck with me, so in my head (because no one else has asked) this painting is titled "1 in every 3 oysters will come down with a pearl". 

I actually took notes when I did this painting, and here they are:

  • Planning -- grey wash inside oysters, gold and blue wash for background. Save whites (?).
  • Another blue green background wash. Add effects with water drops and extra color. Cut out more oysters.
  • More loose gray, pink?, purple, blue wash inside whitish-gray oyster shells but don't overdo.
  • Yellow black gray white on edges of shells -- hard edges occasionally soft. 
  • Play!

Oysters I

I like the watercolorishness of the washes in this painting. There are little blooms and other watercolor 'accidents' all through it. I just love what watercolor does all on its own.

I love the turquoise background with the soft blue shades fading in and out of it, and the echoing blue and turquoise in the inner shells. I still just love to stare at this color. This wash was made with a variable mix of quinacridone burnt orange (DS) and Prussian blue (WN), which produces a whole range of interesting colors from brown through green and turquoise to blue.

This painting was done in July 2017. It was a first foray into a larger format, and into negative painting techniques. I only used negative painting to do the background... it seems very timid to me now that I've done a few more negative paintings. I wonder what I was so scared of?

Whatever it was, I'm still scared of it.