Dancing the dance with watercolor

We are all different. Some of us are more intuitive, others more analytical. Some of us are more process oriented, others more outcomes oriented. We are encouraged to walk the path with heart, to dance the dance of life like Shiva, to follow the Tao way.

Watercolors is a partner in the dance, often with a mind of their own. Like riding a horse instead of a motorcycle, the horse is a partner in the dance. It sees things I don’t see, hears things I don’t hear, feels things I don’t feel, yet somehow I must be always ready and in sync with the horse to stay in the saddle and give it a continuous set of almost-indiscernible directions. A flick of the wrist, a bit of pressure on one leg, a contracting of the seat muscles…invisible clues between dancing partners.

Watercolors layer in subtle glazes, creating mixed colors by overlapping transparent layers. The paint is allowed to flow and drip and blend, creating lively surprises. Some we adjust and correct to suit our desires, but others we simply dance with, changing our vision as we go along. The process of painting watercolors is delightful. It’s not so easy to have the drama and intensity of an outcome that matches what can be achieved with oils, acrylics or pastels. But, no other technique is so equal a partner in the dance as watercolor.

I am far from expert at watercolors. But, every day I am learning and dancing. This month, I’m working on several paintings of horses. I start with a sketch, then I do a layer of transparent blues to show where shadows will be, then I erase the pencil lines. Next comes some transparent yellow to show some areas of sunlight. After, a number of layers of many colors will be done. Here is an sample of the blue layer, another of the blue and yellow layers, another showing some rose layers for a horse that will be a bay color, then some working of the background for that bay horse, and finally two of  finished paintings. I hope you enjoy seeing my approach….this month. It’s isn’t always the same approach each time. So many ways to walk the path with heart….

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