The Night Shift - Hua Hin, Thailand. I came across these fisherman one night when I was out prowling with my camera. They were on the boat preparing the nets to go out at night. The boats intense lights were on so they could see what they were doing.This was perfect dramatic lighting for a painting.
The beginnings of a least thats my lofty vision (smile).
After several layers of sketching, the drawing is finally ready to be transfered
A fine tipped red felt pen is used (with graphite paper underneath) to transfer the drawing to Arches hot press watercolour board. Red is used to keep track of where I have transfered. I use felt pen beause it is softer and does not embed the graphite too dark or deep into the paper.
Colors are beginning to be dropped into the drawing. Rather than using light glazes of watercolor and building up, I prefer to complete as much as possible in one wash. I find this keeps the painting much more alive and fresh. I've never reallly found a masking material I like so paint around positive shapes.
A very messy pallette. I really only use 4 or 5 colors in a painting but somehow the pallete ends up in chaos.
I drop towels underneath and around the painting and the pallette. This way I can easily and quickly dab and dry my brushes without taking my eye off whats going on with the flowing paint. Basicly paint flys and I dont have time to worry about it. Time to change the water. I use two containers, one to wash out the excess paint, and the second to completely clean and start new color with clean water. Its important not to contaminate colors with other unwanted color in order to keep things fresh and vibrant.
Just a few details of work in progress. Took these with a macro lens adapter on my
Texture and spontaniety is two of the many awesome qualities of watercolor.
Background first, people last.
Adding the human element, about 70% complete.
A cropped version of the painting that I like. Simpler and more direct.
I try to keep my paintings representational but at the same time acheive a looser spontaneous feel. This helps to keep a veiwer interested, kind of like having little surprises to look at after seeing the whole picture.
Light and preserving your whites with watercolour is hugely important. The hilite on his shoulder might be a bit intense but I didnt want to mess with it. I never use white guoache to acheive whites or to lighten an area, it kills the tranparent and vibrant qualities of watercolor and therefor the life of the painting.
I needed to add some dark around the outer perimeter of the painting for added contrast and drama. This hot press watercolorboard is very difficult to work with because the paint tends to sit on top of the board, so after drying it can be very easily disturbed when wet again. This is where the spray bottle comes in to first drop in water, and then add paint and let it flow by tilting the board rather than disturbing with a brush.
...getting close to done
Added dark in the right bottom.....then screamed after I realized that was a mistake!
Removed the dark lower right corner. How do you completely remove watercolor you ask? I'll give you a hint, watch Nita Engels video.
....and the masterpiece is done. The Art History books will be calling soon........