The library in such cases is always my first place to start. So, Saturday afternoon, I hauled my pregnant self to the local library and up it's curving staircase to the second floor stacks where the non-fiction section and art books lay waiting for me.
I selected four books on watercolor, replete with gorgeous illustrations, step by step examples, and helpful beginner-speak (most of them).
- David Bellamy's Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting
- Brush with Watercolor: Painting Watercolor Landscapes the Easy Way (vol. 1 and 2), Terry Harrison
- No Experience Required: Watercolor, Carol Cooper
- I also picked up a novel by Carol Goodman, The Drowning Tree, which looks to be excellent but I suppose that is neither here nor there so far as this post is concerned.
Anyway, I flipped through it and quickly located one of my favorites of the pictures: "Country Foad, Tuscany. Bingo. Out came the art journal, Caran d'anche Neocolor ll watersoluble pastels, pencil, a cup of water, and brush set. Yes, I was excited. I marked off a square for my landscape and left a strip of blank space on the page, which I would later brush over with a light wash of ocre and inscribe with the Our Father, written in Italian. I think it is so beautiful that way, a million times lovelier than in English. And in my imagination (never having been there in person) the beauty of the Tuscan countryside is a natural background for the peace, serenity, and timelessness of the prayer. I liked the idea of placing them together for my art journal page.
Here it is, my first landscape. If you click on the image it gets bigger. I think it looks a bit overworked in some places, a few of the trees lean a little crookedly, and I'm obviously new at this shade and lighting stuff, but it was fun and it actually looks like the original photograph. . . you can tell what it is! :-) Ah, bella Tuscany. Unfortunately I got a few words of the Padre Nostro backwards, but that's all right! Imperfection is okay around here! :)