Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Scaling Abstracts

Wind II.  Watercolor.  13x13 inches.
When I paint abstracts, I usually work fairly small--around 5x5 inches.  And, for some reason, the shape is typically square.

It's hard to scale up to larger paintings, and I'm not sure why.  I made an attempt here, with an idea for a painting on a small scale.  (Wind I Study, below) and then trying the painting again using the same colors and much larger (Wind II, left).  I started with a horizontal abstract with the dark blue and light blue with the gold gray above, and it was so boring, I ended up going back in te next day and adding the swoop into the "sky" space.


You can see that there are some differences (overall shape, and in some of the colors), but that I was able to keep some of the intent of form and color.  The palette is the same:  manganese blue hue, quinacridone gold, prussian blue, and carbazole violet--all from Daniel Smith.  The paper is Kilamanjaro from Cheap Joes in a block.  The paper is okay, especially for the price, but I probably won't buy more.

Wind I Study.  Watercolor.  6x4.5 inches.
One of the frustrating things with showing work in a blog or online shop, is the lack of scale.  Wind II is much bigger than Wind I, but you certainly can't see that here.  The other frustrating thing is the challenge of translating the color from the page to the screen.

The other hard thing about abstracts, at least for me, is making sure I convey some feeling as part of the painting  Without the visual tie, I'm not certain of what I have to say.  I think the paintings are improved when I draw from something I've seen or experienced.