Here is the photo(above) I'm working from for my newest watercolor (40"x60") with a working title of "Forest". You can click on any of the photos to view them at a larger size. It will take me several months to complete this and in the beginning of a large painting with this kind of detail, I feel a bit daunted but also excited because I know at some point in the process, the painting will take on a life of its own. I have an idea of how I want it to look and feel, but in the end, it will be something entirely different, beyond what I can imagine now. Please check back every few weeks for updates to this post. It's a rare glimpse inside my process. Sharing my process is an experiment for me, it is my intention to make more tangible, to you the viewer, what goes into the making of my watercolors.
The next two photos show details of the bottom left and right of the watercolor
This rock (above, left and right), an integral part of the image has its first few layers complete. The shadows need to be intensified, and in regards to the whole painting there is much more to do, but so far, I'm happy. In the next few weeks, the rest of the painting will begin to take shape and I'll have a better sense as to how the colors work together.
These are some test sheets, I use all my scrap paper for these. So far, I've done at least 20 of these sheets to get the best color I can. Each tube of color has a unique quality and I want to see what will look best on the painting. I'm experimenting with granular colors for the rocks in this painting- I don't use these too much. I don't know why I do so many of these test sheets, its a kind of warm up for me and it gives me some clarity.
Here is the painting thus far. This painting has so many amazing colors- loosely following the rainbow spectrum (Roy G Biv). For me, it is a great joy to work with color and this painting has so many. I love the process of pairing one color next to another and orchestrating a synergy between color, shape, and image. It has been going slowly for a while because I'm at a critical juncture: resolving the lights and shadows in the rocks to convey my memory of a dappled, warm morning light.
Grey is my least favorite color- it is a challenge for me to make it interesting, while still serving its purpose of being "quiet" so that the light can be luminous. This is just a first pass, more will be done once all the components are in place.
The shadows in this painting are very complex- mauves turquoise-y grays, peach, beige, and of course purple! They are multi layered: some reveal the shapes, while others will be dappled and shimmery.
This is all for now. This image is a detail from the whole. It is a painting within a painting. I love what the green does here. Today was a thinking day- I've made some small, fast, intuitive sketches to see how it will all fit together. Here are some of many sketches I've done thus far. Pardon the messy studio- I'm too busy painting to clean!