5.5x7 inches, ink and watercolor wash
Most of the week I have been taking inventory of my watercolor pigments, getting the caps, which have mostly dried on, unstuck, and weeding out the ones that I either never use, or have a poor record for reliability. I scraped the old Winsor Newton alizarin crimson out of my ratty plastic palette, and tried a new cool deep red called perylene maroon. It comes out of the tube looking for all the world like blood, but I like the richness of the color. I spent time recording the pigment numbers of all my tube paints, and discovered I have four tubes of phthalo blue, which is far more than I will use in this lifetime. I wish pigment manufacturers would abandon cute names and just label their paints simply and clearly.
Anyway, since I was playing with watercolors I decided to give the most recent Virtual Paintout a whirl. I thought at first I'd try a larger painting, but I ended up with a small one in a Canson watercolor notebook. The scene is taken from Google Street View, in midtown Tokyo. When I do these virtual tours of places, I look for scenes that have some good value contrasts, and I like to include something alive, an animal or a person. I liked this slim woman walking in the shadows into the light. I struggle with trying to simplify scenes, suggesting building details without slaving over them. I was pleased with the way I managed the bicycles, omitting spokes and even handle bars. They still read as bikes, and I didn't go wild rendering them. I wish I had saved even more white out in the sunlit areas, but that part still reads as sunlit.