I have been working on a couple of my watercolor series this winter. I added a new one to my Fruit and Flowers series with "Figs" and the other is a series called "Doors of Italy" - I am in the middle of another door painting that I hope to complete this week. I would love to know what you think about these two paintings. Normally I like to paint fruit and flowers on pristine white backgrounds as if they had just emerged from the paper but I've been experimenting with toned backgrounds and I like the way it looks.
"Figs" - watercolor on 300 lb Arches cold pressed watercolor paper with deckled edge
"Sicilian Door with Tile Roof" - watercolor on 140 lb hot pressed 100% cotton Aquarelle Arches watercolor paper
Everyone asks me if I paint first and draw later and it is just the opposite. I love the line! I will study the photograph for quite a while before I start my drawing and often will crop it and alter it just a bit to fit what I have in my mind's eye for the painting. Often I will print out the photograph I want to use as my reference material and day after day, it calls to me - I look at it, think about it, live with it. Until I can't ignore it any more and I have to paint it!
Typically, I put the image up on my Mac (I do have a nice big screen!) and I use guide lines to mark centers and break up the space so I can make my drawing. I put the same markings on my watercolor paper in light pencil lines and do a very light pencil sketch, correcting as I go, erasing and moving lines until my drawing feels right. Then I go back in with my Faber-Castell PITT waterproof artist pens and make my pen and ink drawing, keeping the lines loose and fluid - when I paint en plein aire I just go for it with the pen - no time to be so meticulous! When I'm satisfied with that, I paint.
What do you think? Comments? Critiques? Input of any kind? Let me know your first impressions! When we were in Italy I asked Bob to photograph the doors I was so captivated by with the intention of painting watercolors when we returned. If you go to our website you can see other doors in the series, on the Watercolors page.