This week I'm working on a painting of swan boats -- romantic little fiberglass paddle boats molded into the shapes of swans. The colors I'm using are cerulean, ultramarine, indigo, payne's grey, cad. yellow, cad. orange, cad. red, quin. red, quin. rose, and burnt umber -- all manufactured by Sennelier.
I love the intensity of pigment in the Sennelier
paints, and found that their cerulean in particular is the best available on the market.
this photo shows masking fluid used to protect the primary subjects while the initial washes are painted in the background.
Here some darker washes have been added, to move the focal point more in the center area, and enhance the diagonal composition.
After the background is dry, I removed the masking fluid and began painting some of the lightest values and shadows. Watercolors are a transparent painting medium, so deeper values are accomplished by layering progressively darker colors.
This photo shows how the mid-tone values are beginning to develop through the layering process, and addtional colors are now added to define the faces and cockpits of the boats. Some of the highlights, and the the tether lines between the boats and the dock, are still protected by masking fluid at this stage -- these parts will be painted in last.
After building up the darker values though layers of paint, final details are painted. I added texture to the surface of the dock by lightly sanding the area with fine sandpaper, and small highlights were scratched out with a razor knife.
This painting looks finished, but I'm not quite sure yet. I like to set my paintings aside for a while and not look at them for a few weeks at a time, and then reexamine them later to see if I want to makes any changes.