PART 11 How to Paint a Prize-winning Painting
Lessons in Watercolour Part 11How to Paint a Prize-winning Painting
Looking back at my career as a professional artist, I find images of paintings I did as a raw beginner in 1978. They are needless to say quite surprisingly different from what I paint now. There are differences in the brushstrokes, paint thicknesses, colour choices, subject matter, looseness, detail and finish. Everybody, even da Vinci, was once a raw beginner. Not many painters execute a masterpiece at their first attempt. Of course there are flukes, quirks, lucky breaks, happy accidents, fortuitous good luck and the sheer unpredictability that watercolour has of offering up an opportunity for miracles, but generally it takes practice to consistently pull off work of a satisfying, mature and evolving nature. In golf a hole-in-one has a substantial combination of luck and skill, as does a masterpiece.
Most artist’s early work is very laboured, detailed and correct. And boring. When looking at Turner’s early work one is slightly disappointed that he followed the traditional line drawing and architectural approach because we have come to take for granted the assumption that he always worked so loosely and spontaneously. One wants to believe he was always so liberated with his art from the beginning but realise that he began where we all begin...at the “fill in the line” drawing. This early tendency to be correct is however necessary to begin to become an artist as we all have to start somewhere. But being an artist is so much more than “filling in the lines.” During the journey of becoming an artist, practice improves ones skill levels up to a point then personality, involvement, dedication, commitment, energy, passion and emotion take the work to much higher levels where the artist is truly one with the creative process, abandoning rules, lines, correctness and security to become spontaneous in handling watercolour. A real piece of art is not just a copy of your subject but rather your own interpretation, ability, skill, intellect and sensitivity applied to it.