Tuesday, September 16, 2014

That's MY Parking Space! or One Way I Mix my Media

That's MY Parking Space

This post is about one way I mix my media.
That's MY Parking Space!” Is painted from yet another one of Frank's wonderful photos. This one was shot in a parking lot of landlocked Russellville, KY.
It's painted with a mix of traditional tube watercolor, along with watercolor pencils and Prisma wax colored pencils. It measures 10 x 13 inches on watercolor board.

I started with watercolor washes, using a mix of indigo, and purple for the underpainting of the tire and some pavement. I carefully “outlined” the gull's wings with my initial wetting of the dark spaces I wanted to fill. A lot of time this is all you need to reserve watercolor whites.

I followed this first wash up with some general outlining of details with a dark grey watercolor pencil, so's the line could be “washed away” with my next watercolor layer. I then laid in the pale blue for the car door. After that I laid in the deep shadow of the wheel well, using a complementary brown umber. (Umber is basically a realllllly dark yellow, which is opposite on the colour wheel of the color purple.....equals a dulling, greying of the shadow without using black.

After that I worked on the gull itself. I'd left a good portion of the gull with just the white of the paper. But I choose to “outline” the left edge of the gulls feathers with a white Prismacolor wax pencil. The wax in the colored pencil can act as a “resist” to the watercolor wash. I also outlined the white outline in a black watercolor pencil to which I then added a bit of water to “pull” the black back out into the tire form. This let me safely refine the white feathers against the black of the tire. I learned this trick from Paint Radiant Realism by Sueellen Ross. She has a lot of cool tips to mix your media.

I went on to model the gull with light cool blues, using colored pencils to define some of the wing forms. I finished off the tire with lightened tire tracks in Prismas. I laid in the background reflected reds with more colored pencils, so's I could have total control of where the color went. I finally used a “Peach Black” from Holbein that I've found to be very nice for a true black that isn't too harsh. In most nature paintings I never use black, preferring instead to use combination of washes to get a more “natural” looking dark color. But in this case, since I was painting asphalt.....I went with a “un-natural” black.

And this is the finished painting:

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