Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Summer Joy (EDM#229)

5-1/2" x 7-1/2" watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper.

What is better in the summertime than a long bath? My 13-year old son, Matthew, sometimes stays in the bath so long that he'll finally just slip his legs out over the side of the tub and lean back and relax.

So one day my wife snapped a photo and told me that this would be something good to paint. Since I am relatively new to watercolors, I really liked this challenge. There was masking, the perspective of floor and tile, the texture of the rug, and the molding of the curtains and legs. As an added bonus, the painting meets Everyday Matters Challenge no. 229, "a Summer Joy". [And by the way, the fluffy blue and green things in the upper right hand corner are pouf's (I think) for bathing. Upon questioning, turns out nobody in the family uses them. I was frankly relieved to learn this.]

As an aside, the color of the scanned version is a bit off. The scan tended to make the flesh tones more purplish, and exaggerates some yellow highlights I had placed on the legs.

One question that I have for any watercolorists out there. The color of the rug, when it dried, came out much richer than I expected. When this happens, do you have any suggestions on how to tone the color down? I had been considering a light glaze of a complementary color, but lost my nerve.

Any other suggestions/comments are also, of course, welcome.

Finally, and most importantly, you still have until midnight tonight to win some beautiful free gouache and ink paintings by Diahn Ott at Art by Diahn! Enter now! (Er, how are you at writing Haiku?)


  1. I'm REALLY enjoying your blog! This one's so great of your son-- I've got a 13 year old son too and I get such a kick out of the wonderfully crazy things they do!
    I would think you're idea to tone down the green should work but, I'm really not a good person to ask as I usually end up ruining what I try to fix.

  2. I love this painting! It's not only very well done, it's so typical of what kids do .... I might try it out myself tonite!! lol nancy

  3. The suggestion from your wife was absolutely right! And she did a great thing noticing and realizing that it'd make a great drawing because it is :)
    I have never used masking in my experience with watercolor, but it does sound like so much fun.
    Thank you Dan for all of your comments and your observation in my work. I truly appreciate them all, and they have been really motivating. Most likely I won't draw anything for the next couple of weeks because I'll be in Louisiana on the 30th, and be busy with all the marriage arrangement, meeting the lawyer and what not :) But I'll be back again in mid-August, and get back to my usual routines again.

  4. beautifully rendered and very whimsical. The colours are great (I can relate to the scnning issues) and the composition is so interesting.

  5. Absolutely wonderful painting! The patterns of the tile and shower curtain are perfect. And the legs over the side of the tub, delightful!

  6. Wow this paintings wonderful. You've done a very good job. I find watercolours quite hard to layer up without everything going a horrible colour.

  7. Your watercolour technique is coming along nicely! My son is 11 and I can't wait until he feels that connection with baths and I don't have to pull his teeth to get him in lol!

  8. This is nice! Great colors, and it will make a fun souvenir for your son!

  9. This is fantastic Dan! I think your humor is beginning to creep into your drawing subjects! I do hope you plan on framing this one! What a conversation piece.

    And congratulations on winning Diahn's artwork! Fabulous Haiku.

    Thanks for the advice on looking/not-looking at your paper. It's funny, I thought of the binocular thing too, even said to my husband as he waited patiently, I wish I could see better...a pair of binoculars would be nice!

  10. Can't tell you how bright and cheery this made me feel when I saw it.
    So vibrant.

  11. Fantastic composition! This is both inspiring (because I want to paint something like that) and intimidating (because I know I don't have the chops). Nice one, man.

  12. Very well drawn, too.
    With watercolor, you can sometimes lift color with a wet brush.