My Covid journey with watercolor on YUPO has changed my perception of how I might approach watermedia in the future. (See the first installment of my journey here.) Figure drawing is one of my favorite activities, and integrating line into paintings satisfies my love of drawing. With dozens of monochrome watercolor portraits on YUPO under my belt, I began integrating other media into the work. I had some larger sheets of YUPO on hand, so I utilized them in the continued series.
On the YUPO sheets, I used anything I could find in my home studio: watercolor felt pens, watercolor pencils, graphite, watercolor crayons, mixed dark-valued watercolor, and white and black gesso — all the while staying within a monochromatic palette.
Layering has long been a solid part of my practice — shifting, overlapping, partially obscuring, and balancing. Using YUPO with mixed watermedia opened new opportunities for layering and communicating visually.
Family members came over and sat for me so that I could draw and paint from life. Layering images supported the narrative within the painting. Making shapes and lifting up or obscuring areas united the composition; the sum of the marks is greater than any one shape. Weaving ideas in and out of the composition provided exciting integration of overlapping figures.
As time went on, new imagery creeped into my imagination as I stared out my window or thought about other potential subject matter. Magpies, crows, jackrabbits, and moose joined people on my subject list; each were authentic in my personal experience. Often animals have acted as symbols that are attributed to certain personalities, so there was a nice relationship in this shift.
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Jean, these are so raw and immediate. Thank you for sharing your development process.