Saturday, May 5, 2012

An Imminent Explosion

 Guy Fawkes Night. Watercolor, 5" x 5 1/4".
This little painting is about the night the English burn the effigy of Guy Fawkes and the pope, and shoot off a ton of fireworks.
I did this quite long ago, when I was heavily influenced by the faery-folk artwork of Brian Froud, but it marked a turning point for me in terms of color.

Prior to that, most of my watercolors were modeled after the color method of Arthur Rackham,  ( )who would ink his drawing, then wash over it with a pretty strong dose of Burnt Umber. After that would come the color--and not often much at all.

Little Witch. Watercolor, approx. 4" x 6". Private collection
I painted this one using Rackham's technique.  But my works like this got hammered by editors and art directors for using "too much brown".  I cared a lot about what they said once. Looking back, I think their reaction had nothing to do with art and everything to do with "marketing" (a poison in our society that I despise more and more).

But back to my point.  Guy Fawkes Night proved a turning point for me in that it was my first foray into using brighter color in my paintings.  Don't get me wrong, I love and still use the Rackham approach, but I also love having the freedom to choose. When I want bright color, I want to be able to use it (for my art, not because it'll help some company sell a book). And that's how it should be, right?
Thanks, as always, for reading!

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