This is a case where I became entranced with recreating a photo in a painting and I only had watercolors. I should have done it in acrylics, oils, or gouache, but I used watercolors. This is one of my favorite paintings. I love the colors, the luminosity. This is not a watercolor painting, but a painting with watercolors. I do not believe that should not let not having the right tools get in the way of doing art. This scene moved me to paint and I heard the call.
I am waiting for gouache paints which are more transparent and see what I can do with those and will probably find myself working with acrylics. I am even thinking of just being a mixed materials gal and not let the media define me or limit what I can do.
As a water color painting, I failed to plan to leave many of the highlights as exposed paper, instead I retreated to my background as an oil painter. I love this failure. I got wrapped up in putting down this street scene I completely forgot this was supposed to be a watercolor painting. That is okay.
I am not into returning to oil painting. I don't want to have to have linseed oil and turpentine. I do not miss the shiny quality of oil paints. I am not sure if I want to return to having canvases. When I decide to dive into acrylics, I will get canvases.
What I do know is that I like matte paint. I may mix in metallics, but I do not like shiny or oily paints. In fact when I picked paint for my kitchen and bathroom, I picked a matte paint that could work in wet rooms. As you can see here, being matte doesn't have to mean boring.
Wet streets at night are beautiful as they reflect all the colors of neon and illumination from signs, cars, and street lights. It brings up memories of living in the city during the rainy season that never failed to invigorate. I suspect that this will not be my last street scene.
Do art that means something to you. The subject is the important part of any work. Your job is to take the tools and skills you have to make your version of it. If you didn't have these colors you could make it with other colors, or sepia tone, or black and white. You could make it with your kid's crayons, ink, or pens. If you like the subject you will find a way to get it on paper and even break rules to get there.
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D.K. Castellucci is an artist living in Marin County who works in oil and soft pastels, charcoal, gouache, and watercolors.