Watercolor of Water Color- A Painting in the Incubator

I’m not a watercolor artist but I like using them for quick, studies before I start a painting. It gives me some idea of placement of figures, relationships to each other and their background, and some color balance.

Saw these two brothers at a pocket beach and liked the way big brother turned to look after his charge and the way the little guy followed in his steps. Great to have trees on a beach- you can jump behind a bough and shoot anonymously.

Needs some adjusting in the twist of the big brothers’ body at right, but now I can see it.

Consider this a partial WIP, and when the finished painting is ready, I’ll post it. Maybe this will get Bill of “ On Painting ” off my back for a few days……..

A must mention here of Mike Rooneys‘ blog. I asked him a question about color values and he didn’t just give me a perfunctory answer. He gave me a tutorial- a set of Cliff Notes, a mini Wikipedia of instructions on how to learn to see color better. Please have a look at his blog, see his wonderful paintings that are filled with light, and observe how a flatbed truck can make you wish you could paint one like this. And then chief those same notes about looking at color.

I learned the difference between zoom and digital zoom on my new camera. THIS is digital zoom.

Get a room……

They did, and it happened to be our deck.

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22 Responses to “Watercolor of Water Color- A Painting in the Incubator”

  1. Nava Says:

    “I’m not a watercolor artist but I like using them for quick, studies before I start a painting”

    Using them for quick studies? You are breaking my heart! Watercolors are so often looked down upon as mere study material, rather than a legit professional medium. no, nooo, Noooooo!

    Watercolors are people too!

    Hath not watercolor tubes? made with the same pigment, painted with the same brush as oil is? if you wet them, do they not bleed? if you forget to replace the cap, do they not dry? and if you wrong them, shall they not revenge and screw up your painting?

    Now that I’ve let it off my chest… nice photo reference and study. It has potential for a great painting. That ultra-red shirt is so contrasting all the coolness around! And – good luck with getting Bill off your back – it’s almost mission impossible. I too was reprimanded for being a slacker, and now he’s on my case trying to convert me to WordPress.

    Those two busy bodies will soon upgrade the rating of your blog from G to NC-17, I’d say. Looks like a bit of SM is going on there…

  2. judylobo Says:

    Nice entry. Love the watercolor ‘sketch’ and adore the little guys who found a room at the gluria inn!

  3. bonnieluria Says:

    Nava- ok, see, now I’m going to have a confessional, which I was hoping to avoid but since you’ve smoked me out of my cave, so to speak:
    Watercolor is just so damn HARD!!!!
    I bow and genuflect to water color artists.
    Worse than a class trip to Disney with 7 year olds, those aqueous colors have minds of their own, and a chemistry that I haven’t grasped yet.
    So feel diminished NOT, for your paint tubes and their masters.
    Having just re-aligned my brain from acrylic to oil ( think of the contrast of being a parachuter one day, and then taking up spelunking the next…), I can’t squeeze another medium into my brain just yet.

    I didn’t even use ” real ” watercolors in tubes- just a boxed Grumbacher set that I’ve had since art school several presidents ago.
    If I added up the inventory of hardly used acrylics and factored in newly acquired oils, I could have that house in Positano.

    May I get up off my knees now- I’m getting dizzy from bowing.

  4. Carol King Says:

    great watercolor bonnie. It looks easy when you do it. Love the guys at the beach. I want to be there. But I don’t want to stay in the same room as those lizards!

  5. w1kkp Says:

    This was a “quick” study? The one on top? As in 63 years have gone by quick? Looks lovely to me. But, what do I know or expect in life? Right now? Silence is on my menu. And, I love the moment you are sketching and photographing. The turning back to reassure himself and the younger. A torso twist that speaks volumes. Watercolor, acrylic, oil, magic markers (of which I have a week of experience)…it all comes down to living in and painting the moment. That is why this looks completed to me.

    And, “get a room”. Oh, I laughed right out loud.

  6. Jo-Ann Says:

    Sneaking around taking pictures of all sorts of unsuspecting subjects! Love the watercolor, but the lizards?? Too much information! Kidding–I love your bits of nature interspersed with the art!

  7. maryschwalm Says:

    I guess this means there won’t be a shortage of little ones when we arrive for a visit? Can’t wait to meet your guava eating iguana, as well!

  8. david lobenberg Says:

    Comrade: Enough of the lascivious smut! You are going a bit too far with that telephoto! Looking forward to seeing your oil of the two beach walkers.

  9. bonnieluria Says:

    Pat- your silence is speaking very loudly to me. I know just what you’re saying.

    Jo-Ann, candid shots for me, capture the best poses. I’m referring to the brothers although, I didn’t ask those lizards to pose either!

    Mary- If it’s not this couple, I’m sure they’ll be another one, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen this ” wild kingdom” occurrence.

    David- you’re a Californian- you know, liberal, pinko commie according to Bill. And this is going too far for you?
    Think of it as a bas relief sculpture from an ancient temple then.

  10. Sharon Crute Says:

    You’re darn right watercolors are damn, I mean darn, hard. Like counting backwards from one million. My boxed watercolor set is, is, well, it doesn’t have a brand name. You watercolorists have my utmost respect.

    Uh, watercolor studies? Bonnie, I ‘d sooner drink turpenoid cocktails.

    Love the lizard love – he looks rough.

  11. Marian Fortunati Says:

    Bonnie… Your fans have said it all…. Jeez… I would love to be able to whip out the watercolors and do a quick “study” like that!! WOW!! Interesting… So help me now… How does doing this help you learn when you start the oils? Is it the pose, the colors, the notan or all of it. With me… I make so many mistakes, I’m THRILLED when it all comes together at all…. I’ll do a little notan pencil sketch usually but yours is a full-out work of art!
    Be well and thanks again for the encouragement you have been offering me … I guess you could tell I needed it!! 🙂

    PS…. Love the lizards!

  12. bonnieluria Says:

    Sharon- a toast to you, my fellow oiler and I raise a glass of turpenoid.
    Watercolor is like surgery- you can’t fudge it.

    I need fudging room…..

  13. bonnieluria Says:

    Marian- another reason for me to do another kind of study, is that the more I draw or render the subject, the likelier I am to get the angles right.
    I see what needs emphasis and it becomes more familiar to me.

    But we all keep at it and plug along!
    Thanks for stopping by..

  14. wrjones Says:

    Hey, is that a photo of that television commentator or sports show host? I remember he was a biter.

    Another neat painting – I love these little pieces of yours.

  15. nathaliewithanh Says:

    Hi Bonnie, sorry for not commenting these last few posts but I was away! Holy Bonnie!!!! That shot of the lizards is KILLER!!!! Are you sure they need a room? It looks more like an execution to me. Not that I know anything about lizard love but… er, anything that involves eating someone else’s head (while they are alive) pretty much does not qualify for sex in my book. I’m just sayin’…

  16. bonnieluria Says:

    Nathalie- welcome back- you HAVE been away.

    I don’t think it’s as lethal as it looks. It’s a way of making sure your date doesn’t skip out on you after going to the ladies room.

    They both darted away shortly after I snapped this.

  17. carolking Says:


    I had to come back to look at your watercolor. It’s really beautiful. Loose and free and expressive. I really am impressed! Love this painting.

  18. Mary Sheehan Winn Says:

    whoa, lizard head lock. Great photo.

    I have recently been doing pencil sketches and watercolors. It certainly helps to have the sketch under my belt when I move on to painting. I also try not to start everything with the idea that it has to sell. As artists we need to experiment. Keep at it. Practice makes perfect.
    The paintings are loose and that’s part of their appeal.

  19. bonnieluria Says:

    Mary- thanks for the reminders. If you paint to sell, I think you paint for the wrong reasons. My experience has been that if I like it, so will others. If I don’t, I don’t show it.

    Appreciate your visit here again.

  20. TerryC Says:

    Bleepin’ lizards!

    And your painting is awesome, too 😉 !

    Seriously, Bonnie, the way you bring your photographed subjects alive with words and paints is truly inspiring.

  21. Paz Says:

    Oh my, to the lizard photo. 😉 I’ll repeat comment above — awesome painting. Inspiring, indeed.


  22. bonnieluria Says:

    Terry–thanks so much for the compliment- I really take it to heart and appreciate it.

    Paz- yes, we do have some wildlife here and they are not bashful! {-)

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