Watercolor on Arches paper 15 x 22″
Click here to see large version
This was a painting that was going well–it was commissioned by a friend as a gift for her husband for their anniversary. She wanted me to paint their home and cats in their favorite spot at the front window with their tulip tree in bloom.
As a first step I’d done a perfect flat wash for the sky. Then I did the cats in the window since that was a key feature and moved the rest of the painting along, blocking in the shadows, doing the shrubbery and the other other windows, and the details. Then disaster….
I had a latte sitting on a tall table in the studio. The painting was taped to a drawing board that was sitting on the floor leaning against the table. The next thing I knew the cup was knocked over and coffee was dripping off the table, down the sky in the area to the left of the chimney. I quickly blotted the painting and used a sponge to successfully remove the coffee before it stained. It left that area looking slightly lighter. I tried to ignore it, but today, when the rest of the painting was finished I decided to go over the sky with another wash of blue. But by now the paper was wrinkled and the paint sunk into the valleys, creating anything but a flat wash. So, I tried another wash, which just exaggerated the valleys. Then I tried removing paint with a tissue to give the effect of wispy clouds but that didn’t look right either. So I wiped off as much as I could, waited for it to dry and painted another glaze of blue which not only did the same thing, but also got a little splotchy on the right side.
I’m going to flatten the painting by pressing it under tissue paper and a pile of books for a few days and then maybe try again to glaze the sky. I have this awful feeling that I’ve ruined the painting, not just the sky but many other areas too, and that I should probably start it over again, which I really don’t feel like doing at this point … or maybe it will look better after I don’t see it for a few days.
What do you think?
UPDATE: Here’s the finished painting