my creative resolution

Watercolor, Illustration, Surface Design

Watercolor Swimming Pool

15 Comments

swimminglanesfinal
It feels really good to finish something that I have wanted to do for a long time – paint a pool. I have loved pools since I was a little kid, especially outdoor pools. I grew up in a beach town (I know poor me) and our local pool was an indoor pool. I was a swimmer and occasionally during the Summer we would go to a swim meet at an outdoor pool. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

My kids are lucky enough, during the Summer, to have practice and all their swim meets at outdoor pools. Our pool even has a high dive. Spoiled kids! During the Summer, while I watch my kids practice I always think about painting the pool and the swimmers. I’ve taken pictures, started, sketched, but I always struggle early on and never finish.

Last Saturday we were at a Championship swim meet at an indoor pool and I was sitting high up in the bleachers. I took this photo. I thought it was so cool how the pool was crowded with swimmers warming up. I posted it on Instagram and wrote “I’d love to paint this!”
poolphoto

Yesterday I gave it a try. I realized that if I did the bodies first and painted the blue over parts of the body, that part would look like it was underneath the water.
swimbodies  bodies2

In this first version I didn’t like that you couldn’t see one of the lane lines (the kids are sitting on it in the photo). The lanes were also uneven. And once I added the ink, I didn’t like it at all.
version1

I decided to try again. I see my willingness to “try again” as growth as an artist. I used to sit down and expect to get it right the first time. Can you imagine if a photographer only took one photo! I now know that I need to warm up, try things out, not get discourage, and keep working and trying.

I purposely kept things simple without a lot of detail. Both my sons liked my first attempt better! But I like the second one. I’m hoping to do more of these, now that I finally got started!
lanelinespool-2

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Author: Eileen McKenna {my creative resolution}

Web and Print Designer living in New York. I blog about painting, illustration, and designing patterns. Inquires are welcome.

15 thoughts on “Watercolor Swimming Pool

  1. That is soooooo cooool! I love your poooool! And it’s fun seeing your process.

  2. Nice watercolor — sellable! Good memories!

  3. Gosh I love both of them, but think I have to agree with you that the second version is a better piece (isn’t it always?) I find this is a great way to make a lot of progress really quickly. I particularly love the effect of seeing the bodies under the water, sooo hard, but you nailed it! I am dreaming of the day when my children are old enough to do things unaided and I get that extra sketching time 😉

  4. I really like it… makes me want to find a pool. The water is a great color and I think you did a great job of creating feel of the people’s movement under the water.

  5. Love how you captured the movement of the bodies in the water…no simple feat. Love it!

  6. I think this one is brilliant! Thank you for sharing the whole process – learned something new. K.

  7. Use to live close to pool. I really like your picture… It’s awesome that you showed the steps and the process of watercolor painting. Thanks for sharing… This is pretty cool…

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