Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beyond the Blue Blotch


5" x 7" watercolor on Fabriano 140 lb. rough


My father-in-law grew up in Havana, Cuba, although he has been in Miami since 1955. In other words, he came to Miami before Castro came to power. Sometimes he is nostalgic for the Cuba that no longer exists. So a few years ago someone gave him a book that contains photographs of hundreds of postcards of Cuba from the years 1902 to 1962.

He lent me the book because he thought in might contain some good subjects for paintings, and it does. There are beautiful photos throughout the book. I believe it also has this added advantage: while the book is copyright protected, I don't believe that old Cuban postcards would be.

This watercolor painting is derived from a photo in an old postcard of Balneario Rancho, San Vicente, Pinar del Rio, Cuba. The postcard is undated.

To develop skill in watercolors, I feel the need to sometimes abandon ink and to practice traditional techniques. That is my goal here. So suggestions are more than welcome. I can't just paint blue blotches forever, right?

19 comments:

  1. You've captured the tropical "feel!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks to me as if you are on the right track. However, a suggestion for you (one which I find difficult to remember)is that leaving some white of the paper shining through lightens everything up. But you have captured that tropical feel... keep practicing. The old advice is true.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! Great one, Dan! Did you use pencil too, or just go right in with the watercolor? Love the reflection of the red chairs in the water!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is great! And the title gave me a good chuckle. Very clever!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the foreground - the chair and the reflections! Hope this becomes one in a series!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is charming! I like the beautiful tropical colors and the lovely light!! Well done!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Exploring is part of the game of course ^^ I think you did an absolutely wonderful job(and I could tell you're having tons of fun while doing it too!)
    I just remember another thing about the WaterColor Moleskine(which Danny Gregory uses all the time). I can't seem to find them anywhere, and I've pretty much tried all the bookstores and art shops here in Cologne, and Belgium, and Louisiana :D And I looked in Malaysia too. I guess I just need to order them online.
    And yeah, I've been in Malaysia most of my life, but I do travel quite a bit...Europe, Scandinavia, Gulf states :) One day I'll invade your turf while tagging Raena along too alright? Make sure coffee and tea is ready!!! ^^

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was instantly drawn to the back of the chair in the foreground - perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is great! The composition really works. I know what you mean about abandoning line once in a while, I've also felt that need - it's nice when adding line is an artistic choice and not a necessity.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the color in this. Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This morning the movie "Cuba" with Sean Connery was playing on TV. The scenery looked like your picture. Your painting gives that same feeling. What a beautiful country. Great job, Dan.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can feel the heat and smell the salt in humid air. What a wonderful resource - would love to wander through them. I was young when the first Cubans began their flight to the Florida coast. They came not in seasonal waves like those in the cigar industry in the Keys, but escaping. I also have memories of going to church with a flood of newly arrived, beautiful, and elegant women wearing scent of gardenia and jasmine. More memories Dan. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a wonderful painting! I love the colors, the softness, the mood - you did a splendid job with this. Well done! nancy

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great subject and a beautiful painting

    ReplyDelete
  15. The reflection...oh, that's wonderful. I've never been to Cuba, but this painting is how I imagine it feels to be there. Keep going (personally I think blue splotches could be a life-long pursuit). Very nice piece.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you all so much for your supportive comments! They mean so much to me. :)

    Virginia, thank you for your advice - I will definitely keep it in mind in future works.

    Raena - I made general shapes in very light pencil (HB), no detail and did the rest in paint.

    Art is for the Making - Long live the blue blotch!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love the color and looseness of this one-beautiful!

    ReplyDelete