Remember how I messed up my first attempt to paint a Kubota Gardens landscape? Of course you do. It was green. WAY too green. So many trees! So many shrubs! Just a massive mess of greenery and the thing is, that's what's there in the original photographs. Lots of green. It's a very green place because hey, it's a garden.
My mistake in the painting was to paint what was there. This often works, and is, in fact, one of the "rules" of the Urban Sketchers manifesto -- "Paint what you see!" No making stuff up, no popping in an elf where there isn't one. No painting shrubs blue when they are green.
However, I am a firm believer in artistic license, though not to the point of adding elves to my paintings. Really it is just selectivity -- carefully picking and choosing what to put in and what to leave out or de-emphasize. And I'm definitely still trying to master that skill. It's tricky! I want to draw and paint everything in the scene, when I ought to be emphasizing a focal point. I remind myself of this all the time, and then when I paint the actual picture, completely forget about it. Perhaps if I tied a string around my pinky as a reminder? Does that ever work?
Anyway, the past few days I returned to my tried and true method of a pen drawing with watercolor on three Kubota Garden scenes, and they made me happier, despite the fact that I forgot about focal points again. There is green, but not as much green. So here they are -- and now I am going to go find a piece of string.
And remember -- you can click on a picture to make it bigger! Always fun!