I continued on yesterday's theme of thousand-petaled lotus flowers for today's lotus flower painting. I used the same watercolor palette, but I chose rounded petals instead of spiked petals to see how they felt. I picked red watercolor pigments that are opaque or non-transparent and hid the paint underneath.
There's considerable debate about this in the watercolor community with solid logic and reason on both sides. To find out what works for me, I've been experimenting with different paint pigments in the thirty in thirty series. The subject matter, size, and composition are more or less the same making this a controlled study.
I've always seen value in what's come before and what we've done to get to the present stage. My Dad was famous for responding to anything that happened (both good and bad) with "It is what it is." I picked up a tendency towards detachment from him. Things happened. Sometimes what we think is terrible turns out to be for our best. Sometimes we get what we want only to regret it later.
Using opaque paints feels to me as if I am hiding the past and trying to bounce back to an ideal state in the past. In my life, I rarely succeed in recreating memories of the past. I tend to see what's happened through the filter of the present, what I've learned, and sometimes what I wanted it to be. As a result, I often find that things are seldom as I remembered it.
Using transparent paints feels to me as I am building on what's happened before without hiding it or explaining it away. Transparent pigments allow me to change what's happened slightly, turning it into a "happy accident" that carries the painting forward in a fuller, more vibrant way.
How I feel using transparent paints is how I approach things that happen in life. It's also why I'll be using mostly transparent watercolor paints in the future.