Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Return to Watercolor

 Fuel for the Journey. Watercolor, 5" x 7".

Having always loved watercolor and getting a kick out of  little guys in period costume; making this painting was a happy experience. Is this fellow really flying, or is it the beer?

 After drawing it out in pencil on Arches 300 lb watercolor paper, I inked it with a brush and india ink. I wanted the pic to be light and airy, so I skipped the customary brownish layer.

 Then I just kept adding darker values.

 I really thought I was finished here, but a quick scan showed a need for deeper tones.
And I realized that the balance wasn't pleasing me.

 So I added darker greys to the clouds, more darks nearly everywhere, and more color to the rooftops.
Among my influences will always be Arthur Rackham. This illustration detail is his from Rip Van Winkle. A watercolor of little guys in period costume--and a bit of drinking!


  1. Love this! Did you use a little gouache for flying beer-guy? It's got great, full color. Overall--definitely conveys "airy" and fun!

    1. Thanks very much, Elizabeth! Yes, I pretty much always use white gouache for highlights. (Someday I'm gonna spring for a full-color set and try 'em all.)


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