Water and Paint

     As an Acrylic painter, I truly admire the patience it takes to work with watercolor. In terms of how fast a medium dries, the following list is from slowest to fastest:

Oil,

Watercolor,

Guache, 

Acrylic: 


    For all the love I have of painting, I am often impatient with it at times, so Acrylic has always been my go-to. It's also what I grew up using, so I've mastered it much further than I have its cousins. 

    Although, alternatively, there is a method that exists that can speed up the drying process of any medium:


via GIPHY ^ the Blow Dryer


    As easy as it seems, I don't know many artists who do it. Perhaps it's because most of us find ourselves wanting to take a break from a piece; to refresh the mind and encourage rest for next-day motivation. Perhaps too, one uses a medium's dampness to their advantage; with oil, to blend seamlessly, and with watercolor, depending on whether you paint wet on dry paper or wet on wet paper, its dampness can accomplish one of two things, demonstrated in the video below:

 

    It's in its subtleties that watercolor really shines. Unlike other mediums, the layering often created as a consequence of the paint creates an effect like no other. Today's artist has taken that fact to its potential within her style. Working primarily in watercolor, with portraits as her main subject matter, artist Melissa Moore gives us insight into the emotion an expression can manifest, and the tenderness color can create within a piece.


        

    

    "I've always gravitated towards faces," Moore said. "I think it's the emotion that I'm trying to convey, maybe because I am such a shy person... this is a way for me to speak."

    I understand this sentiment all too well. I, too, am quite shy. Art has always been my refuge. What I can't express, an artwork can. Although the below truth remains unwavering:

    A facial expression can say a ton without the lips ever uttering a sound. 

    I'm sure we all know someone whose thoughts show on their face. I'm a victim of this circumstance, and so too is my father. I can't help but laugh because he's always been terrible at trying to hide what he's thinking: I've always been able to guess what he's contemplating without him ever saying a word. It's all in the expression. His big, blue eyes are usually a dead giveaway. 

    Speaking of eyes, the eyes in the above two images are quite intense. Each pair has water streaming down onto their faces, but the vibes emitted from each work are entirely different. The image on the left gives me an almost "strong" kind of feeling. Between the slight curve of the lips bent upward, the steady, proud gaze, and the color choices, I feel an almost "trial faced, trial won," sensation. While, contrastly, the eyes on the right make me feel as though I'm asking for forgiveness, or crying out in silent help; the second interpretation fortified more so by the lack of lips and the tired eyes. 

    Although the above works are made of mostly cool colors, Moore creates many colorful portraits as well. Amongst them, the image to the left screams confidence. Be it the crazy colors, the flow of the hair, or the expressions itself (or perhaps the combination of all three), this woman looks radiant and sure of herself. The image following after has an almost "seductive" appeal, monochromatic yet alluring. A self-assured expression.
 

    About her choice of medium, Moore states:
    "I like watercolor because its stains are transparent, and when it bleeds, it bleeds in color. It's as delicate as it is bold. Its layers are soft and comfortable; easy to bend into, intimate yet exposed," and her overall creating process is as follows: 
    "I use watercolor pencils first, then go on top of the initial drawing with a paintbrush that only has water on it to loosen it up, then I start layering with watercolor paint or gouache; sometimes define with watercolor markers. I use lots of paper towels and sometimes q-tips. I go directly onto canvas with watercolor pencils and watercolor paint which I've been told is a no-no...but that makes me want to do it even more." 
A couple process videos are shown below: 




















    Thank you, Melissa Moore, for allowing me the privilege of featuring your artwork on my page. If I can say anything in certainty, it's that the goal of yours to create impactful, emotive portraits is undoubtedly a current reality, and they leave me inspired and wanting to try watercolor for myself in future works.


Moore's 3 Daughters and Biggest Supporters beside her painting^


    With that, I conclude my feature. If you'd like to learn more about Moore, check out the CBS19 news feature they did of her by following this link: News. Want to see more of her work? Follow her Instagram or Tiktok

    Likewise, if you are like me and are interested in learning more about watercolor, check out this blog full of helpful tips: Watercolor Blog and use these links to buy the perfect set of watercolor supplies:





                                             

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