You can be too careful
For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking that my watercolours are a bit tentative, as in this painting of Lena I did at my Croydon group on Saturday. What I think is happening is that I’m not flooding the paper with paint as much and I’m adopting a more traditional technique of working from light to dark – only I don’t seem to get the darks dark enough in the time I’ve got available. Or to put it another way I’m more in control of my technique, of the application of paint to paper, but not yet in control of how I use that technique to produce the paintings I want.
Of course this is why we keep practicing, to acquire and maintain the techniques so we can produce our work without conscious thought of how we are doing it and with the physical control of the medium to achieve the results we want. At the same time, I know that I have a tendency towards being too controlled, too careful, which can result in my pictures becoming stiff and lifeless. However, sometimes I get the balance I want as in this acrylic from a couple of years ago of Lena in a similar pose.