Monday, July 18, 2011

A Touch of Light

While I usually compare my writing process to sculpture, today I'm going to branch out a bit and talk about painting. Shouldn't that be fun?

It has been explained to me by a few people that painting with watercolors and painting with oils are very different experience. A key difference between the two is the light.

In oils, light is the last thing you do. You do all your objects and background first, and the light is the final touch of color to show were on the objects you've drawn, your light hits.

In watercolors, things are much trickier. To a certain extent, light is actually the first thing you do, because the light is the space you leave in from the beginning. Light is, in effect, the space where you do

It seems to me, in some ways, writing is like both of those things, depending on who you are. It's all a matter of the planning.

Some people are planners. They can see right from the beginning where they're going to go, how they're going to get there, and what the scenery is like where they park. They can tell where to leave the light in.

Some people don't know quite so much in advance. They change direction midway through. People appear who weren't even imagined at page one. And, heaven help us all, sometimes we end up somewhere not at all like where we meant to go. Hey, things happen. In that case, you put the light in last, once you've figured out what the picture's really going to look like.

The point is, both styles, while different, produce fantastic artwork.

Me, I think I write like a Cezanne painting. You've done your darks. You've added your light. It's still not done. So you turn your brush around and scrape off some of the paint, baring things down to the canvas. Hey, if it get's the job done...

How about you? How do you paint? Water or oils? Back of the brush?

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