I adore when other artists do step-by-step demos of how they work. I usually forget to pick up the camera, or find that the verbal part of my brain has been temporarily suspended while painting, so it's too hard to talk about what I'm doing as I'm doing it. But I thought it was about time for a demo of my own. So, here goes...
1) Rough sketch (from my sketchbook, a few weeks ago). I was thinking about wind, and motion, and sunlight peeking through clouds, and a more muted, late-winter-into-spring color palette:
2) Sketch transferred very, very lightly in pencil via lightbox to watercolor paper. (Can you see it?):
3) Here, I've started drawing with colored pencil. I like to have the basic lines and textures on the page before starting the color:
4) I work in pencil and watercolor, and go back and forth between the two, building up layers of line and color. I've tried to make a piece go faster by laying the color down darker in the beginning, but that approach always seems to backfire. Either the texture doesn't build the way I want, or I panic and think I've wrecked the piece. Slower is better, in this case! Here's the beginning of the color, in a faint wash:
5) I try to build up the color as much as I can before going back to the pencil line. There's no real formula for this. Sometimes it's just a matter of being bored with one and wanting to go back to the other for a while:
At this point I'm still not really sure if the piece is going to work or not. I like to call this the "Ohmygawditsawful stage." Seriously, I can't count how many times I've gotten frustrated and started a piece over, only to go back to the original later on. I should really have "Keep Going!" tattooed onto my arm, because that's the only way to get through this stage. Sometimes a short nap, or my kids telling me to step away from the painting helps, too. (I've trained them well!)
Stay tuned for Part Deux, and the final art!