Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm medium bipolar and a cheater!

Yes I am! I go from acrylic to watercolor painting on a whim. In fact here is a watercolor I did two weeks ago to break up my busy acrylic painting regimen. It's on 22'X30", 140lb, cold press watercolor paper. It is a scene in the high Sierras just above Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe. I painted this watercolor from a photo reference that I threw up on my monitor next to my easel. The painting executed on a flat drafting table surface, which up until now, is how I have watercolored for almost 40 years. This semester, however, I have begun doing demonstrations for my Sacramento City College watercolor students on the vertical so everyone can easily see what I'm doing. We have no overhead studio mirrors. A portable video projection unit was just acquired, but I have yet to take out the time to learn how to use it. That's OK. I want to paint like Tony Couch, a well known and superb American watercolorist. If Tony can watercolor vertically, David can watercolor vertically! And now for my confession...I'm not a pure watercolorist. I cheat! At the end of my painting, I will sometimes add colored conte to the piece. Can you see here where the dastardly deed was done? (Click on the image to enlarge it)

27 comments:

Barbara M. said...

But you cheat so well!

Take care,

Barbara

David Lobenberg said...

Cheating on your art sometime can be good, Barbara.

Prabal said...

I loved those cheat marks on the painting. In the last painting I did I too cheated in a similar manner. :)

Anonymous said...

David -I have spent some of the happiest days of my life backpacking in the Sierras - I LOVE this painting, especially the conte! - Dana

lifeartist said...

Is it really cheating? Sargent used Chinese white to bring back some of the whites and so did Homer,a lot. So, what's the problem?

Dan Kent said...

Its settled then - in this case cheaters prosper! I enlarged your work - and it is just beautiful.

David Lobenberg said...

Thanks Dana!

David Lobenberg said...

You are absolutely right, Davida. I have a Sargent book in my hand, and he did use Chinese White. I believe, homer may have as well. It's hard to be a watercolor iconoclast!

David Lobenberg said...

Thank you, Dan!

Dustin Strong said...

You may not be a purist watercolorist staying true to the water color traditions, but that's what artist's are made of. Not being confined to traditions or standards makes the artist free to say what they want. Yah I saw what you did in the trees and shrubary. That makes it better to my eye because it adds texture. I have a confession to make as well. I hate watercolor as a medium. I don't like the look of it. It's a die more than a paint. However, there are fabulous works in watercolor and I love your chiaroscuro in this piece. I love to see a landscape painted naturally of the light as apposed to "school of Bob Ross style".

I like the way you just come out and say you used a photo. wouldn't have guessed this is from photo. Nice Job! A fine use of a photo as a tool. "Paint the light; not the photo!" as I like to say.

Carmen said...

¡Que manchas tan bien puestas!... preciosa obra.
Saludos
Carmen

Anonymous said...

David, did you "Mr Clean" the sky by any chance? It's awesome! - Dana

Carrie Yuen Tsang said...

Dave! When are you teaching now?

bonnieluria said...

Comrade Cheater: a little chartreuse conte crayon is not cheating.
The painting itself is so masterful that adding those bits of brighter green was as necessary as adding three sprinkles on a hot fudge brownie sundae with whipped cream, wet walnuts, cherries and 3 scoops.
You are a most awesome bipolar, multi talented non cheating artist.

http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

I really liked this piece.... until I found out you are a criminal. Not PURE water color? With water that has been blessed. You are NOT a watercolorist you are just a damn painter. Hang your head.

Mike said...

Hey Dave . . .

Every heard of Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons? They make cheating even more fun! They are water soluble, too!

FYI, you are already better than Tony Couch. His stuff is very predictable!! Keep up the great work, pardner!

Terry Miura said...

You are a sinner!!


I say, if it's good enough for Sargent....

David Lobenberg said...

Thanks Dustin! Liked your blog!

David Lobenberg said...

Muchas gracias, Carmine!

David Lobenberg said...

Dana, No Mr. Clean on this one. Just a thirsty brush to pull of paint while it was still wet.

David Lobenberg said...

Hi my "old" student Carrie. Are you on my workshop email list?

David Lobenberg said...

Comrade Bonnie in painter's paradise, you make me hungry! Thanks for the kind words.

David Lobenberg said...

Onpainting: I hang my head with humble pride. Am I using an oxymoron here? Was Oxy a soap at one time?

David Lobenberg said...

Mike, my good painting buddy, yes I have used those crayons but not in a long while. I find the conte crayons more precise for my needs, but I should play with the Crand'ach (or however the hell ya spell it) again. Thanks for reminding me. I now have an ice pack on my head to bring down the swelling after your Tony Couch remark! You are correct. He is somewhat formulaic but inspiring in his approach to teaching shorthand watercolor.

David Lobenberg said...

Sargent da man, Terry!

Nick said...

That's an expert watercolor, David, one of the best in this style. I don't think I'll get started on the watercolor "purist" subject! I'd rather enjoy this piece, and I spy a few bits with the white chalk, entirely fits and works.

David Lobenberg said...

Thanks, Nick.