Sunday, 26 October 2014

It’s All About Preparation

Old Mill Creek (Work in Progress)
Watercolour on Paper
24cm x 34cm (9.5" x 13.5)

This is my current watercolour project – a view of Old Mill Creek near Dartmouth.

The picture is at a make or break point where I need to start adding details to bring it all together.

This phase highlights any weaknesses in a composition and there are a few issues I wish I’d addressed before starting the painting.

Old Mill Creek, Dartmouth

I should have been more diligent in my preparatory thumbnails. The trouble is I liked the slightly unorthodox composition of the main reference photograph. This lulled me into a false sense of security. I drew a couple of sketches to experiment with the sizes and positions of the swan and the boats, but I didn't complete a full exploration of the the composition with tonal and colour thumbnails (see  Castle Cove - Thumbnail Sketches and John Lovett's article Thumbnail Sketches)

Background Trees - Test Swatches

One piece of preparation that paid off was some experiments I did before painting the background trees. The basic technique is similar to one I've used previously (see Silver Birch) - paint a pale green wash and add darker and darker greens to it as it dries, I refined the technique for this picture in a number of trial swatches.

No comments:

Post a Comment