So I am not sure why I keep starting these enormous paintings lately – a full sheet of watercolour paper is about 4 times larger than I usually work. There’s that tension between the size of art on canvas and art on paper. Watercolour paintings are generally just smaller. But I think it’s important for my growth as an artist to be able to paint in larger sizes, so that’s what I’ve been attempting.
Tonight I started another landscape, full sheet size (22″ x 30″). I have been captivated by our beautiful northern skies, which is easy to do. In this region we just have beautiful skies, and no mountains to block the view. Also, with our short winter days, we get to enjoy both sunrise and sunset within an 8 hour span.
I threw down this first wash thinking I’d do a larger version of my “Summer on the Farm” scene, but with a dramatic sky. It quickly took shape, and while I used a reference photo to inspire my sky, I used my instincts to tell me when to leave a brush stroke, and when to blend and soften edges. I love the drips and drops in this very early stage, and I might just abandon the barn and house and make this a super simple landscape, so I can concentrate all the interest and drama on that wonderful sky.
I’ll keep you posted – there is still a great chance that I will make a nasty mistake and need to start fresh. But I’m feeling optimistic.