The painting on the left was made looking out the window of my Aqueous Media classroom yesterday. The one on the right came from the window of my mind a week ago.
I never make slavish copies of what I see. My motto is, "Close enough for government work." Anyway, the intricacies of these buildings would have been impossible to capture with watercolor in so small a format. And besides, the light kept changing.
I was long ago taken by a statement about the artist Janet Fish that said she didn't try to capture a particular quality of light in a particular moment, but simply kept painting the light that was there, however many hours, days, or weeks the painting took. I was intrigued by that, and took it for my own modus operandi. Thus the sky that happened to be blue when I painted it yesterday was at other times a flat grey, or full of the drama of clouds.
When I'm working from something real, there comes a point when I stop being interested in accuracy and turn my attention to the painting qua painting. Ultimately, I stop when I've created a composition that I like looking at. The teacher of this class has a keen eye, and I solicited her advice before making the final touches. After that I was pleased to receive her imprimatur.
I took several pictures of the painting by natural light and by indoor light. This is the one where the computer screen best captures the colors I see with my naked eye. Of course, your computer may differ.
Experiments like this always remind me that, however much I enjoy digital reproductions of art, there is no way to fully reproduce the experience of being in the artwork's presence.