Saturday, February 23, 2008


For those who are interested in such things, I thought a series of posts of how I create a watercolor would be a good idea. Although artists paint in many different styles and methods, generally most watercolors are started in the same way. Since it is difficult to change a watercolor painting half-way through or fix mistakes without damaging the paper's surface, a careful drawing is a good way to start. It also pays to have a general idea on how one wants the painting to proceed as well as an image in one's mind (or perhaps a pre-study in a sketchbook) of the finished work. For more difficult compositions, I paint a small study first but most often, I jump straight in and begin work right away. I was very happy with an earlier painting that I had done of a window inside an abandoned Chinese house (see earlier post) so I wanted to continue with the series and do a different window from a slightly changed viewpoint. The lighty-toned drawing shown above is how I started this one and was done on a piece of stretched Fabriano watercolor paper. I usually use Arches but wanted to try a slightly smoother paper this time. I was careful to pay attention to the correct perspective especially in relation to the old bottle on the right of the sill. I also took some care with the accuracy of the bars and frame making sure the window panes were all the same size. With an idea of the first color washes to follow, I could hardly wait for the drawing stage to be completed but this is perhaps the most important part to get right. Next, the first general color layers.........

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