Ajijic

Man with Panama Hat

I noticed this gentleman in downtown Ajijic, Mexico.  I took his picture early last summer and he struck me as being very distinguished.  He looked serious.  His camera had a very long lens and a sun visor.  He looked at ease and he was definitely not your average person in the square.  I kept looking for a dog but he did not have one.

I did not forget him so six months later, I am painting him.  So what is it about him that makes him so intriguing?  I am guessing that he has a history and it is not Mexico.  I think he has traveled and I think he has seen a lot of the world.  Why do certain images stick in our brain.  I hope he is ok and doing well.

The thing about this watercolor is this…it was painted as a tonal value piece.  Three shades of light, medium and dark painted in paynes grey.  The paper was Fabriano Uno paper, the old version that had little or no sizing on it.  I soaked the paper well and adhered it to a board.  I started by using wet into wet and because the paper was stretched. it was pretty near impossible to get a hard edge.  So I went with it.  Later I learned that stretched paper cannot hold a hard edge, and you do not lose color the way you do with painting on sized paper.  I did not know that.  So everything will have a soft edge. Originally, the pencil drawing on the sheet had detail in his face, in his shoes and his camera bag.  All was lost. But I don’t consider this a bad thing because I learned from it.

When the painting was dry after a whole day, I gently laid layers of transparent colors on certain areas, such as the background foliage, the people and the tiled shiny wall.  Listo.  Reproductions are here:

panama-hat-web

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