For today’s post I thought I’d give you a finished piece and its accompanying inspiration photo, and then a bunch of in process photos for you to see how this piece came together.
I took the photo at UTEP’s Contemplative Garden and it’s the surface of a fountain created by dripping water off of bells above the surface. You can see the fountain itself at the link for the garden.
Because the photo was so dark, and I was using 300 lb paper (quite heavy), my lightbox wouldn’t work to transfer as I usually like to do, when I’m not freehand drawing on the paper. So I printed out the photo on white paper in a size big enough for the paper, taped the edges together and used Saral transfer graphite paper to transfer the lines.
I was inspired to do this because the painting group I’m in was watching a Soon Warren video on painting koi ponds and I wanted to paint from my own photo. So I followed her steps working with light washes put on with big brushes, drying it a bit with a hake brush, and then working on areas keeping some edges soft, some hard.
So you can see the piece take shape. Sometimes I lifted and softened edges, sometimes scrubbed out to get the texture of soft that the light on the water (front left) required.
I used many layers on this and lost some of the freshness that I want to get from watercolor, so I painted another in this, starting a series, with less layers, more wet in wet painting and I”ll show you that soon.
I didn’t use masking fluid for the highlights, because the edges dry so hard when you remove the masking. and it looks artificial unless you soften the edges a lot. It’s easier to just lift small reflections from the paint and/or scratch highlights at the end with a calligraphy nib or little razor.
I also didn’t draw all the detail on the paper, because I feel a lot more familiar with the subject. I got my circles placed and vague lines where I want the dark and light to meet. More on that in the next post!
I enjoy hearing from you. Please let me know what you think, or ask any questions. I’m in a hurry to get this post finished, and get back to painting, so I may not have been as clear as I wanted to be.