Aida. Watercolor on Arches Cold Press Paper, 300gsm. 20 x 16 inches, 2013

Aida, my newest watercolor, is actually the last painting in my series This House of Glass. I tend to think of my work as a succession of projects - moving from one to another after I've accomplished what I set out to do. Now that THoG is complete I'm actively preparing my next body of work which promises to be a challenge both for myself and for my audience. But more about that later... in the mean time I intend to post two tutorials on my painting process as well as samples of what's happening in the studio.

As always, your questions and comments are welcome. 

Work In Progress

Here is a detail from Aida, the latest addition to This House of Glass. I started by laying in a monochromatic blue underpainting to define the shapes and space of the room and figure. Then I layered in transparent washes of local tone to further define the structures and light source. At this point I'm laying in reflected light and pushing the shadows further to establish the value range we'll see in the finished piece.  Check back for more soon.

Related posts: Finished Drawing Transfered Drawing

Work in Progress

Aida Detail

Many people see the final drawing before I move onto a finished painting - but few ever get to see what that drawing looks like once I transfer it onto the watercolor paper. All of my problem solving is done on small pencil sketches leading up to the final drawing (see HERE) but the real details are added once I transfer that drawing to the watercolor paper. I mount a blown-up copy of the final drawing to the back of the watercolor paper and use it as a road map while I re-draw the entire composition - once again from the photographic reference. This gives me the opportunity to "flesh" out the details and lay down a system of lines that later communicate how the paint will be applied. It's a slow and methodical process but it ensures that by the time I start the underpainting I've accounted for as many variables as possible.