Painting is all about breakthroughs and improving outcomes. Lately, I’ve been quite satisfied with something I call “sketch painting. ” In simple terms, in watercolor, it’s a sketch and 2 washes. I am also doing a lot more drawing and sketching, which is improving my overall compositions.
I’ve been quite happy after my trip to Florida where I did a number of bird studies. Here are some paintings from that trip:
All of these paintings are done on 1/8 sheet watercolor (sketches). Instead of traveling with my easel, I’ve been traveling a little lighter lately, and just taking some simple equipment including:
1. A clip board
2. 1/8 sheet cut arches rough watercolor paper
3. Sketch pencil
4. La Petite Palette of paints with 3 primary colors and some earth tones (Daniel Smith Paints)
5. Travel brushes
It seems with these type of sketches, the less you do, the better it looks. I also like the look of simple washing in wet on wet and allowing some of the colors to blend.
The process for me was simple: 1) sketch , 2) single back wash with texture and 3) Let partially dry and paint the bird .
In this 2nd wash, I would usually add the shadowing. It really doesn’t get simpler. My next project will be to do larger works , including some landscapes , and painting them in a similar fashion.
There is no one better at the simple 2-wash step with shadowing in the final stages than Herman Pekel. I attended his workshop last month , which helped in keeping my painting process a little more simplified. You can read my experience with his 5 day workshop on this site.
Enjoy and happy painting!