Il Campo!

Aug 05 2011

It felt sort of Architecturally Sacreligious to be in Siena and not spend any time sketching the Campo, so I decided to try my hand at watercolor. I’m not terribly pleased with the result, but I did learn 3 things:

First, decide on masses and stick with them. Watercolor relies on a slow build-up of color, and if you try to expand something halfway through, you’ll never match the tone correctly.

Second is that you should never use pen on a watercolor painting. It completely destroys the subtlety of the watercolor tones. Pencil is ok though, especially if you use multiple lead weights, or have a lot of very light lines, they look great underneath the layers of color.

Third is that people get really interested when you work in public. I had a group of three little kids “secretly” watching over my shoulder as soon as I took out my watercolors. Which was cool, because I’m always happy to be a part of the urban spectacle.

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