Tag Archives: watercolor process

Sketchbook Page: Watercolor Practice

5 Jan

WC001_01Every week I join three to five  other local artists in White Plains, NY to paint a model at the Reilly League.  Sessions do not have an instructor, and the artistic backgrounds of the artists vary widely.  This encourages information exchange.  The model changes from week to week.  Participants use whatever media they want — oils, acrylics, watercolor, graphite, pastels, colored pencils are the most popular.

The image shown here is from a watercolor I started in the summer of 2011 and would like to continue.  Sorry, but this blog did not exist until mid-November 2011.

I typically begin work by doing a very light pencil sketch followed by an  under-painting to work out some of the values.  In this case I used burnt sienna.  The paper is a 140 lb. hot press d’Arches W/C block satin grain.  Time with the model was up when I had gotten that far so I continued work at home.

Next,  I glazed the pants with a couple washes of Payne’s gray and ivory black.  I dribbled clean water on the blouse area to create its pattern and charged it with cadmium red (Winsor & Newton).  I just love how a minuscule bit of watercolor explodes on wet paper!  When the red stripes were completely dry (not damp, bone dry!) I started the shading on the blouse with ultramarine blue. The shaded area under her left arm needs to be a little darker but I don’t want to disturb the red pattern.  I’ll work on that.

My next steps are to continue practice rendering textile patterns and various textures like polished stone, wood, metal and shiny vinyl on the objects in the picture.  Of course there are those cast shadows deal with as well.

I welcome your questions and comments so we may learn together.  Thanks!

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