In order to improve my watercolor architectural rendering skills, I started a long term project where each week I would attempt to render in watercolor, one famous monumental architecture. Along with this practice I would also be reading books on watercolor painting techniques to supplement my learning process.
In the very first episode, I decided to render the great Ziggurat of Ur. Located in modern day Iraq and constructed roughly six thousand years ago, the ziggurat is arguably one of the oldest building types (along with its contemporary — ancient Egyptian pyramids.) The geometrical rationality entailed in its stern rectilinear form fascinates me. Moreover, the ziggurat building type epitomizes the a priori attribute that constitutes the non-spoken, perhaps subliminal essence of ‘monumental architectures,’ which is ‘to be tall.’
Therefore, whereas the solid recessing platforms would be condemned as wasteful in other building types, they are perfectly acceptable here, as they perform their sole purpose perfectly, and that is to elevate the dwellers so high above the ground that they feel separated from the mundanes and closer to the deities.
As the first painting of this practice series, I’m really content with how the final result came out. Just to toot my own horn a bit, thanks to the semi transparency of the medium (watercolor,) the warm palette of the painting really gives off a fuzzy glowing effect. The washes are flat, (in a nice way) and the facets of the rectilinear form, though all are of warm hues, are clearly discernible from each other.
However, the background of this piece looks empty because I was hesitant to experiment ‘too much’ in the very first episode of the project.