Friday, January 20, 2012

Out with the Old...

Copyright © 2012 , Scotti Vaccaro
from Every Day Matters
sketchbook journal entry dated 1/20/2012

And in with the new...

Once upon a time, a very long time ago (14 years plus or minus a few months), I began to work in watercolors. Some of you know that my main interest is in pastels, but I didn't start there. I began with watercolors.

Like any newbie, I made newbie mistakes. I bought a profusion of tubes of watercolors; Maimeri had a post-Christmas special at one of the big art supply places online and, since I didn't have a preference, I bought the entire set, many of which are still sitting in their pristine, unopened state. (Two hundred years from now, archaeologists are going to wonder, "What's that all about?")

Over time, of course, I learned. There are some that I can't live without, particularly what I call the "mud colors"-- raw sienna, burnt sienna, raw umber, burnt umber -- because they really are (were) made from the earth dug up around Sienna and Umbria in Italy. My palette will probably always contain Ultramarine blue and Cobalt blue, because I don't know anything better to depict warm and cool skies, respectively. Then, there are the remainder and these are more-or-less expendable.

So, as I began to contemplate the New Year, I made a big decision. After 14 years of paying my penance, I was going to allow myself to let go and do something really, truly wild: I was going to change my brand of watercolors and I was going to change the shades and tints I used. I know. It makes you gasp, doesn't it?

Oh, alright. Glib comments aside, I decided that I was going to reach for a different, more mellow look to my watercolor sketches... just to see what the overall effect might be. Same old pen and ink sketches (Uniball Vision, fine point, black) ... just new watercolors, this time from Da Vinci, which is a California company, instead of from Italy.

So, let the New Year begin!*

"Marriage allows you to annoy one special person for the rest of your life."

*In case you wonder: I have had the bulk of this post prepared for quite some time. I have been sitting here waiting for 3 backordered tubes of watercolor from DaVinci to be able to finish. Stay tuned! I have been working on a few other things while I waited and will post them soon.