So, I’m taking this class through Smithsonian Associates. I went to the second session last night and I can tell it’s going to be a lot of fun. They have a surprising amount of offerings at pretty reasonable prices during all seasons, so check it out.
I love walking down into the S. Dillon Ripley Center (under the Smithsonian Castle) as everything on the Mall is closing up for the day. It’s cool and quiet down there and the class itself is very chill. (Is anyone else watching Bob Ross on Netflix? It’s a little like that.)
I realized during class last night that visualization in watercolor (and other mediums, but very much so in this finicky and historically unforgiving one) is a layered concept. Being able to form a cloud or a tree or a mountain with watercolor isn’t only about technique. You have to know both what a cloud looks like and what you want the form of the cloud to look like and then you have to convince your fine motor skills to cooperate.
This morning I woke up too early and had to get out of bed to sketch an image of a girl’s foot. Maybe I’ve been staring at the beautiful illustrations of models that Kimberley Gordon does too much. In my mind, the image was perfectly clear, but I ended up with my sketch book propped on my left knee and my right leg sticking out from under the covers into the chill of the AC for reference.
All of this brings about not only a deeper respect for the detail in watercolors that I’ve taken for granted all my life but also a strong urge to work plein air. Maybe if it’s not too hot next week you’ll see me in Meridian Hill!