Evening at The Old Dock

This is from a photo of The Old Dock Restaurant in Essex, New York. The reference photo was graciously supplied by another photographer. It is not mine, but I have had it for a couple of years, wanting to paint it and afraid to. So, I finally got up a little bit of gumption and tried it in watercolor.

I soaked and stretched the paper and then learned my first lesson in paper quality. I have very cheap paper made with wood pulp, which does not hold up well to water. Why “watercolor” paper is made that doesn’t hold up well to water is because of cost. Good watercolor paper is not cheap and I now have some on order. It is made with 100% cotton and it is in very large sheets, which I will have to cut down to whatever size I want. I can’t wait to try it. It was a little frustrating using this paper. But, I think it worked out for my first good size, relatively complicated picture. As I was stapling it to the frame, I got frustrated, because it was tearing. I finally got it done, but didn’t know how it would work, once dry. It worked well, considering. It was tight as a drum, which is how it should be. The real problem was working with water on the surface. It pilled up and layers of paper came away. The colors did not work well, either, because I didn’t spend a lot of money on those, either. So, cheap paper and cheap paints made it a little difficult. I have good paper, good paints, and a good palette on the way. Now, I will have only myself to blame for bad watercolor art. LOL! This is supposed to be a night picture. I used masking fluid for the lights and reflections, which was another problem with the paper. It ripped when I removed it. You can’t see it, unless you look closely at the original, however. So, all in all, I like it.

There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark.  — Unknown

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