I caught her in a moment of quiet introspection

I caught her in a moment of quiet introspection. Usually, she’s talkative, playful, and happy.

Yet that day, she was different. She had a lot on her mind.

Opium Tales quiet introspection

caught in a moment of quiet introspection

I knew what she was thinking about. But it was personal, and I don’t want to share it to the public.

The worries of the young differ so much from the worries of the old. Ah, to be young again.

I wouldn’t trade my life for someone her age though. A different age. A different time. So much has changed.

I decided to put her in water. I’m a water man. No, I’m not into astrology at all. But I’d definitely fit more with one of those water types.

As for her, she’s very grounded. Very realistic, and shoots straight for what she needs.

She knows she’s beautiful and she knows so many men want her. She’s secure enough to not let the bad ones into her life.

Funny thing, she’s even given me advice on which friends I should root out. And she’s been right.

But back to her worries, I wanted to put her in water. At first, I was thinking about a pirate setting with the shadows of a pirate ship. Then I decided against it. How about a tropical lagoon instead? At night?

Great idea Roman. And so it is done.

tropical cove nude

12″x12″ watercolor of Allie in a tropical cove at night

Why watercolors

As you already know if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, I hired Allie as a live model back in February since I wanted to learn to draw. In April, I started watercolors.

Why watercolors? I love the randomness. With oil and acrylics, you’re in complete control. With watercolors, you’re not. You work with the watercolors and the water sort of does what it wants to do. Which you’ll find can be quite enjoyable.

Plus the colors. If you’ve worked with watercolors before, you’ll know exactly what I mean. You’ll really get to experiment with colors.

Now if you’re reading this and have never tried any art medium, I’d strongly suggest you learn to draw first. My drawing was downright pathetic a few years ago. I had to do a crash course on drawing and now it’s at a level where it’s tolerable.

I don’t use that many paints. That’s intentional. In this painting, there are a total of six different watercolors and two gouache paints for the entire painting. Only the moon and the stars are gouache. Everything else is watercolors.

For the paints, I’m using Daniel Smith’s Titanium White, Perelyne Red, French Ultramarine (a blue), Hansa Yellow Medium, Moonglow and Windsor and Newton’s Burnt Sienna. That’s it. That black? That’s made from mixing mostly blue with a little red and a little yellow. In watercolor, it makes a very dark blue which almost looks like black.

For her skin color, I make the main tone with simply Titanium White and Burnt Sienna. You’re seeing seven layers of paint with one yellow layer and one burnt sienna layer. That’s how it looks so complex.

Allie in quiet introspection

Allie’s usually very talkative. She moves around a lot too when I’m drawing her. She doesn’t stay still very easily. Which for me is great because she’s forced me to not take too much time on one pose.

This however was the longest she’s ever held a pose. She was in deep thought the whole time. Very unlike her.

Not that she doesn’t think. It’s more that she’s the type of person who does her introspective moments when she’s alone. She likes to be busy when she’s with people.

Where to next?

I’ll be working with Allie at least until the end of the year. After that, we’re leaving it open.

I’ll always need beautiful women as models. But I have some hard rules now. One – they have to beautiful. Two – they have to model full nude. Three – I have to be personal friends with them.

I put the third rule in place because if I don’t have any emotional attachment to the model, I won’t invest much emotion into my painting. After all, I’m a Romantic. That’s just how we think.

I’d like to work with Jin down the road. She’s one of the few models that the band has worked with that I call a friend. Most of the others were just business.

Maybe I’m getting old. I don’t like shallowness. I like being emotionally connected to everything.

For instance, when I see a place, I really want to be there. I don’t want to be distracted.

When we were in the Mediterranean a few months back, we had our cell phones disconnected to the world. Our phones took wonderful pictures, but they were just that – cameras.

(I got an iPhone 8S Plus. The big one so I don’t have to worry about filling up the hard drive. Yes, we both got shares of Apple. If you don’t, you should).

So yes, I’ve been doing watercolor for only half a year and I’m very comfortable how far I’ve progressed in that small amount of time. This is also coming from a guy with no artistic talent whatsoever. I drew like a little kid only five years ago.

My plan is simply to be a double artist – musician/composer and painter. That’s my dream lifestyle. I’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Hopefully, you are doing whatever it takes to make your dream lifestyle happen. If not, maybe you need some moments of quiet introspection.

You get to be you once. Make it happen.


Roman is an artist, composer, writer, and travel junkie.

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