Wrapping up the Pavese watercolor sketch

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There comes a time when we take into account the fact that everything we do will become a memory in due course. That is maturity. To reach it, you must have memories.

Cesare Pavese, Diaries, 10.1.1944

Narrating incredible things as though they were real–the old system. Narrating realities as though they were incredible–the new.

Cesare Pavese, Diaries, 11.11.1943

I’m closing out this Pavese watercolor sketch with two quotes from his diary that sum up his writing pretty well. The latter point especially is one that resonates with me, as it informed my writing style (if you’re curious, you can see it here).

To finish this sketch, I researched some Wyeth watercolors to help figure out the table color (Cerulean blue, cobalt teal blue, ivory black, cobalt blue over a mix of a light, bland reddish brown). This seems to bring out some extra interest in the arrangement and feels suitable for Pavese’s melancholy brilliance. After laying in the base of cerulean and cobalt teal I sanded it down to make it look more aged, then painted the shadow. I also scraped out the edges of the book where the cover was wearing out.

I’m wondering if I should exagerate some white highlights for more interest, but I will leave it as it for now. This is a very small work–5×7–and I’ve probably overworked it enough already.

And by an odd coincidence, Pantone’s color if the year is Marsala, which is strikingly similar to the dominant color in this sketch. How trendy.

Thanks for reading.

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2 thoughts on “Wrapping up the Pavese watercolor sketch

  1. laber1 January 6, 2015 / 7:35 pm

    I am a broken record. I love the composition, the depth of color, the subject matter, and your resources which are great and make a small-sized work greater than it’s size.

  2. lesliepaints January 11, 2015 / 1:50 pm

    What really captures my attention in this painting are the contrast of the flat surface and triangular shape of the book against the rounded shape along the left pushing it forward.

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