||1. Start with a Good Drawing.
Before I actually begin a painting I do a value sketch. Often this is a
thumbnail sketch only a couple inches large. This in an invaluable tool and
helps with composition as well as light and dark value areas. I then do a
light pencil sketch directly onto the watercolor paper.
||2. Apply First Washes.
First I do an under-painting. Thatís a light glaze of yellow, pink or
orange in warm passages or blue and purple in the cool passages of the
painting. I leave quite a lot of white paper so my painting will have a
crisp sparkle necessary to a successful watercolor painting.
||3. Apply Light Glazes.
Once the under-painting is dry, I begin with light glazes over large
sections of the painting. At this stage I also paint some passages using the
"charging" technique. The area is dampened and moist colors are dropped in
and allowed to run together.
||4. Add More Glazes.
I may do more drawing at this stage. Occasionally I will use masking
fluid to save some necessary white or lightly colored highlights. I donít
mask large areas. I carefully paint around the large white sections. At
this stage my design takes shape.
||5. More Detail.
I continue to evaluate the painting as I proceed. Often it will evolve
into something quite different than Iíd planned. Thatís when the intuitive
part of the painting process takes over and I just feel what I need to be
doing. Watercolor is a medium where you need to go with the flow.
||6. Finish Painting.
I add more color to deepen passages in the painting until I get the
contrast I want. I continue to evaluate it as I go, sometimes putting it
away for a few days. At this point it's easy to overwork a painting. Think
of your painting as a poem, not a novel.
1. Drawing - Provides a composition or design.
2. Washes - The undercoating that will glow through.
3. Add Glazes - Thin layers of transparent paint.
4. More Glazes - Build up stronger values of color.
5. More Detail - Define stronger shapes in the design.
6. Finish Painting - Darker opaque passages for details.