June 27, 2010

Still Life With Bicolor Cat --Let's Get Some Paint On That Paper!

"Still Life with Bicolor Cat" has been sitting on a back burner for a week or two, but I was able to make a little more progress this week. Thanks to the input of readers a few weeks ago, this pose of artist model Buttonwillow was chosen for the composition:

You can see the preparations for the painting here:
Step 1

I use transparent, professional-grade watercolor paints and Arches 140-lb cold press paper. Using high quality materials makes a HUGE difference when painting in watercolor--you get richer colors, better blending, less "muddy" colors, etc...It's definitely worth the splurge!

To continue, I re-dampened the paper with a wash of water with just a tiny trace of New Gamboge Yellow mixed in. Gamboge (and most other yellows) are non-staining and lift off of the paper easily when blotting . So not only does this give the overall painting a warm glow, it also ensures that most colors I put on top of it will lift off much more easily if I need to "erase"--even staining colors like the Thalo family.

In the next step, I painted shadows next to the picture frame and behind Buttonwillow with a mix of blue and rose to make lavenders. I mix a lot of colors right on the paper instead of on the palette. You get livelier mixes that way as opposed to flat, uniform color...

Even though the tulips will be purple overall, I am painting the first layer with reds and yellows intermingled, which will make the purples much more interesting when I go back and paint layers on top.

Next I've mixed colors right onto the damp paper again, mixing thalo blue and new gamboge yellow in a streaky sort of way and letting them blend into interesting shades of green: I'll go back later and add contrast to define individual leaves...

That's all for this edition...Stay tuned!


anne said...

WOW! This is great! I need to pas this page on to my watercolor student!

The Joy of Needlework said...

Your blog and cat paints makes me smile each time I visit. LenZie