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Posts Tagged ‘Fabriano Artistico’

I knew that doing a painting of Notre Dame de Paris is well beyond my current skill level with watercolors, but I decided this evening that I had to give it a try before I leave this beautiful city tomorrow. I just got done with my little painting using DaVinci watercolors on Fabriano Artistico paper and it is 5×7 inches in size (13×18 cm).

I won’t bore you will all of the reasons why this is a tough subject, but I chose the front view, which made things a little easier and I ended up simplifying a lot of details. The paper is not really flat at the moment, which means the photo I took looks a little warped, but I think you can see well enough what I accomplished.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the results. I may give it another go from home, but it is recognizable, I think as Notre Dame—I especially thrilled that I completed this while I was still in Paris.

In case you are curious, I based it roughly on a photo that I took today that is included after the painting.

 

Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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How comfortable are you in doing something that you know you are not good at and then publicly showing the results? I have tried watercolors a few time and brought some watercolor stuff with me to Paris. My trip is over half over, so I decided last night to play a bit, using some of my recent photos for reference. I definitely need lots of practice, but it was incredibly enjoyable.

I think “primitive” would a positive spin on my watercolor “style”.  I’m finding water control and brush control to be my biggest challenges at the moment. Those two issues make it hard for me to put in details, because the lines expand really quickly if there is too much water. Of course, it helps to be able to draw, which I don’t do well, so proportions can quickly get skewed.

Here are a few geeky details for those of you who paint with watercolors. I used a twelve color DaVinci full pan watercolor set in a metal tin. DaVinci is a small company in California that makes its own paints and they are a higher quality than the student grade paints I have used before. For paper, I used several brands, but they are all 140 lbs (300 gsm) in weight and are cold press. The first painting was done on a 4×6 inch (10×15 cm) Fluid 100 block that is 100% cotton; the second one on a 5×7 inch (12×18 cm) Fabriano Artistico extra white block that is also 100% cotton; and the final one on a 4×6 inch (10×15 cm) Strathmore postcard that is made of wood pulp.

As I worked and played with the watercolors, I thought of a Sidney Sheldon quotation that I came across recently, “A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.” There is something really special about the creative process, making something with your own hands.

Later today I am going on a three hour sketching tour in Montmartre, as long as the weather holds. That will be the real test for me, seeing how well I can overcome insecurities and fears while literally in public view.

Watercolor Painting in Paris

Watercolor Painting in Paris

Watercolor Painting in Paris

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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