Inventing a Painting Background


Perched on a High Stool
Watercolor on Masa Paper, 10.5×7.75″

I am pleased to announce that I am now represented online by Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale Arizona. Here is the link to my Xanadu page.

This is one of several watercolors that have languished in an envelope in my car waiting for fresh eyes. I discarded several unfinished pieces which I had no hope of successfully completing. There just wasn’t enough information in them. Here, the figure, the green draped high stool, and foot rest had been completed. The sea of white paper surrounding those elements had to be addressed. The blue drape and the red bands are complete inventions. Having painted for many years helps when inventing elements. I can draw upon all the other times I have painted drapery from observation to invent and render it convincingly. I do need to be aware of the “feel” established by what is already there so I can maintain a similarity of “look” between the parts painted at different times. It makes for a unified whole.

No matter who is modeling, woman or man, I tend to treat the figure on a ground in a similar way. If the background is plain or filled with floral patterned drapery, the background situation always suggests the background in which the figure is placed. Sometimes I’ll change a color or repeat a pattern. Sometimes I will invent a fabric or pattern just as I have done here.

December 5, 2014