Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Step by step.

It has been much too long since my first post and I apologize, but hey! It's summer. I'm happy to report that we got out of TX, and this terrible heat for a while. Next our son and future daughter-in-law arrived for a rare visit. The wedding is in Oct. and there were things to do.
OK. No more excuses. I'm back in the studio and I want to show you my newest painting. It's a scene from a new story I'm writing. My inspiration for this story is a young friend of ours who LOVES turtles. While looking at some cute snap shots my husband had taken of her and her twin I suddenly envisioned her riding a turtle. A very big turtle.

First step: Research and sketches! After finding excellent shots of sea turtles on the web I did sketches of each character and each element in the piece. Then more sketches of the whole composition. Lots of sketching. When the sketch is worked out in great detail I move on to...
Step two: Transfer of sketch to watercolor paper. For this I use my trusty Art-O-Graph and a very light pencil. My AOG is an ancient and obsolete piece of equipment I can best describe as a souped up overhead projector. In the process of the transfer I tweak the drawing, adjust size relationships, etc.
Step three: Painting. Applying water color in very pale washes everywhere, stopping periodically to make color decisions.
Sometimes trying different color combinations out on tracing paper w/colored pencils. I then continue with the pale washes until all elements of the piece have paint.
Step four: More paint. Deepening the colors selectively.
Step five: Strengthening line work. I use a dark brown pencil for this.
Step six: More paint. Pushing and pulling the values to create depth and vibrance.
Step seven: Permanent white gouache. I use this sparingly to touch up high lights, add definition, and sparkle.
Write me and tell me what you think. Feel free to ask questions?
Hope your summer was fun but seriously, enough of this. Let's hear it for FALL! Soup! Warm socks! Cozy sweaters! Cool mornings and chilly evenings. Blankets on the bed. Hot chocolate!