Monday, October 02, 2006

A painting a day - Shara in the shadows



This is Shara. Another little child of a country yard in Westmoreland, Jamaica. She's sitting just inside the doorway of her grandmother's tiny wooden clapboard house, which sits about 3 feet off the ground, each corner barely balanced on a rickety pile of misshapen stones. It's hot outside. Not so cool inside "nydah" but she's cooler in the shadows.
Well, I had a rough time painting Shara tonight.

Sometimes it flows and sometimes it seems as if everything is conspiring against you to paint. Between children who've waited until the last minute to do their homework and "have just one question" to a cat who has chosen to cough up a few fur balls on said child's bedding, and so forth. Well.

So when I sat down to paint Shara I got her almost completely finished but then she became overly worked in paint. Too many layers, not enough definition.

I got so frustrated I ran the whole darn thing under the faucet. Well, actually, I spritzed her with a forceful spray bottle right between the eyes a few times, until her face was back to a milky, tho' splotchy, cream color. And then i had to let her dry and begin again.

I knew the result wouldn't be clear transparent layers of color -- that's the risk you take when you submit a watercolor to the spray bottle. Kind of like scraping back an oil painting but with much different results.

But I kept at her. Even added some goache to create more opacity and brought her down into the deep blues. She's not anywhere near how I began but perhaps that is for the best.

"Shara in the Shadows", 4"x6" ink, gouache and watercolor on paper.

1 comment:

Eileen Hale said...

This is another one I really like (besides 9/27, It's really about the sarong) - despite "overworking". This looks alive to me - it's that darkest area between the light-side eye and the bridge of Shara's nose, and the solemn child expression.