QS #03: Water Buffalo


This is my second attempt at the Poster Colour Paint. I've given up on blending or glazing the colors as I normally do with watercolor or acrylic. Instead, I am treating it like gouache, and am much happier with the outcome. Part of the breakthrough came when I remembered my old painting instructor, Frank Lanza. He was a quirky old man, but incredibly talented and an unparalleled visionary. He taught me to seek color. He always said to the class, "You are not rendering. You are not copying. You are painting." Funny how it is years before I understand his meaning.

As students and beginners, we tend to copy exactly what we see. We do not feel the texture of the grass, or the heavy mound of the hills, the sway and growth of the trees. We did not voice any opinions about our piece. We had nothing to say. We did not even see color, we merely copied it. Only now, am I beginning to see.

The piece above is a painting of water buffalos. Outside of my old house in Indonesia, was a spinach farm. Early around 5am farmers were already working and praying in the fields. Perhaps it is only in my mind, but the morning light always appeared to be filtered through the mountain air. As a child, I once greeted a water buffalo. It was much taller than me. It had grandeur and the coat was a beautiful mauve, reddish brown.

For the painting, I fell in love with mauve and will stick to it for the shadow color for now. I've now tried out Scarlet Lake Red, Sky Blue, Emerald Green, and Chrome Yellow.