Posts Tagged ‘131202’

Comparing Mediums

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Since I’ve begun working in multiple mediums, a number of people have asked which I prefer. My response is that it depends on what I want to convey with the painting. My decision is based less on the subject than on the concept I hope to express through the finished work, and what I want the viewer to think about.

Although it doesn’t necessarily hold true for every artist or every style of painting, in my own work I find that oils and acrylics both provide richer colors and greater opportunity for control and correction for detailed work. They also offer a somewhat more “solid” feel in the finished painting. Watercolor, on the other hand, is looser and tends to create a lighter, airier impression.

131201a Golden Arches, Rhodes

In these paintings of an arch-spanned walk on the island of Rhodes, the acrylic version (#131201, above) emphasizes the solidity and rhythms of the masonry arches themselves, whereas the watercolor version (#131202, below) emphasizes the play of light as it filters between the arches and the rhythm of patterns it creates along the walk.

131202w Sunlit Arches , Rhodes

I like the control that oils and acrylics put into my hands. But I also enjoy the free-flowing serendipity of working in watercolor.

Working in acrylic is like a child led by the hand, kept close and under control.

Watercolor is like a child with a mind of its own. Much like its parent, I try to guide it into the areas I want it to occupy and then let it run as it will. Sometimes it needs coaxing, sometimes it needs to be limited or corralled a bit and “encouraged” or directed to behave as I want it to. Occasionally it takes off on its own and I have to race to catch up, rethinking and adjusting my original plan on the fly. That’s part of the fun of watercolor.

So…which is my favorite? It all depends….