Strathmore's second online workshop began yesterday. Our workshop leader is Cathy Johnson. Cathy has published a number of books over the years about painting in watercolor. Her book Creating Textures In Watercolor was the very first book I purchased on this wonderful medium. I decided to make my trip to Maine last summer the subject for my art journal for the workshop. I wanted to express my emotion for this amazing place in a more visceral way than I could with the camera alone.
Cathy is encouraging us to paint from life, but unfortunately, a congenital abnormality in my vision prevents this. I don't see with both eyes simultaneously-my vision continually switches between the right and left eye. My brain can't fuse the two. Consequently, when I try to draw from life without surrounding visual cues, such as the edge of a photograph, I end up drawing from two different perspectives. Alas, I must take plenty of accurate photographs and paint in the studio :)
I'll share a little of my process with you, so you can follow how I arrived at the finished product.
I began with a very light pencil drawing and then started laying in color. I did a gradated wash of cobalt blue, and then blotted out some of the cloud areas. I used payne's gray for the dark areas at the top of the lighthouse, and cadmium red medium for the small roof peak. I mixed the red with payne's gray for the lamp. I mixed cad red, cobalt blue and raw sienna for a muddy gray to shade under the eaves. It initially looked too red, so I glazed a bit of payne's gray over the shadows.
I worked the branches with raw sienna and raw umber. I tapped in the foliage with hookers green and leaf green. I toned down both greens with a bit of burnt sienna mixed in.
I splattered in more color for texture in the foliage. I laid in a wash of raw sienna for the ground, and then splattered and blotted to give texture. I used the same green mixes for the ground. Very pale dry brushing and washing was added to the walls of the building with raw sienna and burnt sienna.
I deepened my colors and then began inking in the details. I used a black Sakura Pigma Micron 02 pen to add a bit of line work around the windows, walls, and roof. I used a dip pen with a fine nib for the rest of the line work. I worked the details in FW acrylic inks: sap green for trees and grass, sepia for branches and ground texture and cool grey for hints of brick work and siding on the building.
Bass Harbor Head Light
8" x 10"
Watercolor and Pen and Ink on 140lb. cold pressed paper
I'm looking forward to sharing more of my watercolor interpretation of the Maine coast as the workshop progresses. I hope you'll join me for the adventure!
Until next time,