Monday, April 5, 2010

I Botched!

Yes, it’s true, the nose has been scrubbed out. That’s because it didn’t look quite right to me, and by 'not quite right' I mean it looked 'short'—too much upper lip. So I measured it and I was a full 2mm off! Yikes—on a small painting (8"x 11"), that’s a lot.
Here’s where watercoloring gets tricky, and is unlike painting with oil or acrylic. You can’t just wipe out a mistake and start over (my husband will attest to this: he just finished a portrait of me [my head, on a John Singer Sargent] and I ended up looking like an orange on a toothpick! Okay, that’s an exaggeration—it wasn’t off by much, but we kept looking at it and felt as if something was ‘off.’ The solution? ‘Wipe’ it out and try again [which he did, and I’m all better, now])

Not so easy with watercolor. I can scrub or scrape depending on how much paint is down, and whether or not the color is ‘permanent.’ In this case, I scrubbed with a wet brush—it removes not only paint, but paper also, which is dicey. Then, I let it dry thoroughly, and as it’s doing so, scan it and post it for the world to see. Hopefully, I’ll be able to redeem myself; if not—well, that’s just the way it goes…and you get to watch…

...Stay tuned for the ‘nose rescue’ and the photo from which I’m working…


  1. You're taking this way better than I would. I think that I would be stomping around and really losing it. After so much work invested and everything else looking so great... well, I'd be on a rant right about now. I hope you can save it!

  2. Robin, believe me, I'd be freaking out, too, if I hadn't so many botches under my belt. I botched way worse on another portrait of her, an managed to pull it off somehow. I hope I do this time, too. If not, you know I'll be ranting!

  3. Good luck. I wouldn't mind if someone could erase a portion of my nose.

    Bridget, there is an award for you over at Middle Passages. I know you don't love them...but this one is hearfelt!


  4. That's actually very sweet, Liza--I mean about the award, not your nose...

  5. Botched or not, it's still lovely!

  6. ...but will it look like her...

  7. Oh, that's a good point...


    Well, I don't doubt your abilities. Do you think if you're not happy with it you would start over?

  8. No, I'll just go into a huge slump and never paint again...

    ...till you, Liza & 'glnroz' lecture me on the pitfalls of perfectionism and I start another painting just to save face... (no pun intended, but you have to admit that's a good one)

    ...speaking of which--time to go do some paper/paint surgery :)

  9. You made me smile this morning. :)

  10. Then, Michelle, my job here is done...
    ...and, likewise, I'm sure...:)

  11. you would have to "use up" two erasers if you tried to erase my nose..GOODNESS, SOMEBODY GOT A NEW WEBSITE SET UP.. GREAT..!!!


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