Off Day

I know everyone gets off days (don’t they?). They aren’t as enjoyable as days off. It seems to me that off days occur mostly when you’ve just done a piece that you’re really pleased with, or one which represents a leap forward of some kind.

Today felt like an off day for me. I wanted to make a picture, the Japanese anemones are doing their stuff beautifully in the garden… but it just didn’t happen as I hoped. Every stroke and splot felt rather poorly executed and ill judged. Maybe part of the problem was thatJapanese anemones watercolour I wasn’t observing closely enough.

Here are some words of advice I think I need to hear:

It’s ok to be loose, but it’s definitely not ok just not to bother having a really good look at what you’re painting. Because by the time you realise you’ve been sloppy, it’s too late and you’ll have the devil of a time correcting your picture.

If you put the pink on when the background is still wet, you’re just asking for trouble, and you may have to lift it out, which will leave bare patches in your background. So be patient!

Also, if you’re wearing a fluffy jumper, beware that it can catch on the bottom of your picture and smear the paint around – watercolourists don’t usually use jumpers to achieve paint effects, probably for good reason.

So, what can I say? I’ve sharpened up this watercolour sketch a bit using my fineliner, but I’m still not overjoyed. But as with all pictures, there’s something I can find to like – today it’s the top right hand corner with its crunchy edge. Onwards and upwards!

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35 thoughts on “Off Day

  1. I really like your painting, Rebecca! I think your flowers are beautiful and they remind me of something I’d find I a book on flowers. I understand about having an off day though. It usually happens to me when I’m tired or working too much at the office. Hope your day gets better. ;-))

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  2. I too have those “off days”. But my guess is tomorrow when you look at your painting you’ll have a different perspective.
    I like the painting you’ve posted. The delicate flowers and darks and lights of the leaves are a nice contrast.

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  3. Fluffy jumper be darned – poets can wear those furl-y sleeves, but not watercolorist. I agree about loose but still looking. : ) Me, I am like the queen of loose and messy at times. LOL! May you be on like you wanna be tomorrow xo

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  4. I agree with Sharon too. I can’t count the amount of times I have thought less than positive thoughts about what I created, in the morning it almost always looks much better and if there is a solution I can clearly see it.

    I think your flowers are beautiful and delicate, the leaves are perfection and the background wash is yummy and pulls everything together. I see none of the things you pointed out, it all looks like perfection to me.

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    • That’s so lovely of you to say! On reflection, I guess we’re all nitpickers really, or we’d never get any better… it’s the striving that seems to help us grow, I think. πŸ™‚

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  5. I had to smile reading your post – as if someone was talking to/about me… πŸ˜‰ But I think that your painting is stunning, really! ItΒ΄s has so much beauty in it, the choice of colors is gorgeous, the forms itself seem perfect… I love it!!! And it shows one of my favorite kind of flowers, I have planted 4 of them in my garden recently. 😊🌸

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  6. You may think you had an off day and I think the same thing, very often, but I really love this painting. The flowers are gorgeous, the dark leaves provide a great contrast. The background wash is delightful. I think this painting is beautiful.

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    • I’m so glad you like it, Carol. It just goes to show that we’re often our harshest critics and maybe not always best placed to judge our own work… πŸ˜‰ I think the problem was the contrast between what I had in my head, and what I produced; they weren’t at all the same thing!

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