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Watercolor Society of Indiana

In My Opinion...August 2022 by Pat Grabill

Friday, August 26, 2022 1:42 PM | Tanya Roberts (Administrator)

I recently posted an article on the WSI Facebook page that I thought you'd find interesting--and maybe useful.  It's titled "Break Out of Your Creative Rut," so I thought I'd do that--break out of my creative rut and share with you.  The article describes six ways to approach the creative process differently than before.  If you missed the article (it's not a long read) and would like to check it out, here's the link:

I combined two suggestions and decided to try the suggestion about painting upside down and then gridding a reference image into 16 squares.  Here's my reference image: 

And here's the image upside down:

Then I also gridded my watercolor paper into 16 squares and began to paint, one square at a time, looking only at the upside down image.  At first I thought I would just draw and shade and have only black, white, and gray--but that wasn't enough fun--so I got out my palette and brushes and decided to paint upside-down in watercolor.

I wish I could say that I created a masterpiece--but I didn't.  What I DID get from the exercise is practice in painting shapes and looking for darks and lights.  It took me several hours to complete the exercise--it's watercolor after all, and I waited for paint to dry so I wouldn't have mud.  I painted a square or two and let the paper dry.  Painted some more. Here's the upside-down result:

And here it is right-side up:

I picked a complicated photo image to do this experiment, but at least it was something I enjoyed looking at while I painted.  If I do this particular experiment again, I think I'll start with a portrait image--just the head, perhaps, and either one draw or paint that image upside down.

However, I DID print the article on which this particular blog post is based, so I still have five more "experiments" to play with--like doing an 11x14 painting using only 100 strokes.

But that's just my opinion.  Have fun.




Watercolor Society of Indiana

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Indianapolis, IN 46240 

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