December 14, 2006
…from sketchbook to finish…
I am constantly experimenting with different supports to paint on. The other day I came home with a sheet of 140 lbs hot press Arches watercolor paper. It had been quite some time since I had painted on it and I wanted to see if I liked it any better now than I did then. I scanned shots of this little exercise at different points along the way and posted them as a sort of “mini-demo”.
I am constantly experimenting with different supports to paint on. The other day I came home with a sheet of 140 lbs hot press Arches watercolor paper. It had been quite some time since I had painted on it and I wanted to see if I liked it any better now than I did then. I opened my sketchbook and picked out this image for my experimentation.
I made a photocopy of the sketchbook page, taped it to the bottom of the 140 lbs Arches watercolor paper and then redrew it onto the watercolor paper using my light table. The drawing that I do on watercolor paper is pretty much all just contour line. I will use paint to define line, value, and shape so I don’t need to waste time doing that with the pencil drawing.
As with most any project you take on in life, if you have some sort of a plan before you start, things will usually run a bit smoother for you as you try to accomplish your goal. My game plan in painting is almost always, paint the stuff in back first, the things up front last. This helps you avoid that “painted up to” look you see in a lot of watercolor paintings where the background and the foreground images meet. Since I am painting the old Wolverine in his bright yellow spandex jumpsuit, I will stick with a very limited yellow palette. I use purple to tint and accent as it is yellow’s compliment.
With the background basically finished, I turn my attention to the foreground image. The first thing I do is simply block in color with flat, mid-tone washes. Now it is just a matter of refining these areas of color. I start modeling the yellow areas using purple to dull and darken my paint, and white to build up to the highlights.
I continue to define the different blocks of color I have previously laid in. Using value to the max (extreme dark and extreme light), I turn the blue areas on Wolverines outfit into shiny looking black passages. I also start painting the cracks into the ground.