Isn’t he charming! No, this isn’t one of mine – it was painted by a student in my class this week. She is working on a project in needlework related to the Amarna dig between the two World Wars – http://www.blog.virtuosewadventures.co.uk/wordpress/ the Dreams of Amarna – and finds painting helps to define and refine her images.
As always in painting, it’s not what you paint, but how you paint it that matters. This was done without preliminary drawing, often the best way to achieve a vital painting. A painter friend of mine once said “You have to hype yourself up to paint in watercolour!” Certainly it requires total concentration to work without an initial sketch.
The first pass in pale colour established the position and attitude of the figure, using both the tip and the body of the brush to win the shapes. The brush strokes which followed established the solidity of the figure, shadows revealing the curve of back and buttocks. Notice how some are wet in wet and some wet on dry. It is the varied handling of brush and paint which makes it work so well. The variety is appealing, suggesting both the relentless sun and the passing of a moment. Lost and found edges cast their spell and draw you in.
Well done, that girl!