I needed to play and doodle yesterday, and so I pulled out a piece of watercolour paper which I had already thrown some paint on. Not sure what I originally intended, but that’s not important.
If you look closely you can see that I have sketched the profile of Claudia, with a blue water colour pencil. I used a photograph of Claudia as my jumping off point.
Anyone who has taken one of my workshops will know how important I consider the warming up process to be. Like dancers, musicians and athletes, painters need to warm up at the beginning of the day. Playful exercises using newspaper, wall paper lining or painting over old sketches is freeing.
In this frame, it’s all about the negative space….applying colour into the area surrounding the profile, which immediately reveals the face. Even though I am working over a colour ground, I have applied juicy watercolour next to the face, and then with a clean, wet brush, I have pulled the paint out.
Remember when working from a photograph, it’s not about copying – rather using it as a jumping off point.
I decided to add some Indian Red water colour to the hair and into the negative space. If asked why….my answer would be because the colour was on my palette and I felt like it:)
Given that I am working off a colour ground, I have applied some Winsor & Newton gouache, permanent white…Had I been working on white paper….I would have left dry white paper for my highlights.
I have added some Cadmium Orange water colour which brings a vibrancy to the image.
In the final frame I decided to use the Permanent White, along with some Naples Yellow gouache around the image to bring a sense of interesting light and movement.
An artist who was recently visiting, talked about the problem of feeling that everything she did had to be a finished painting, even in her sketch book. In our discussion she realised how this attitude prevented her from playing, doodling and freeing up.
This post will be followed by a watercolour portrait on white paper…..