|A Complete covering of a Prussian Blue
wash. Notice how the vertical lines of Payne's Gray is beginning to disappear.
I will have at least one more wash that I can add before I lose the lines as my
||Now I begin cutting the shadows using
|Using Indigo mixed with Lamp Black, I
repaint the lines of the fabric texture. Then I use Prussian Blue to begin a
process I refer to as banding. Every second vertical space I fill in with the blue
and then after it has dried, I fill in the spaces between the blue with the Indigo/Lamp
Black wash to achieve a dark blue for the sweater.
||After completing the banding, I use
Aquamarine Blue to wash the whole area of the sweater to blend the colors. Looking
|I move into the backpack straps beginning
with a Pthalo Blue layer after the water layer. Then Mauve, Payne's Gray, Indigo, and then
a touch of Crimson Lake for highlites. I remove the masking for the lapel pin and
the small gap by the right elbow.
Using the Crimson Lake, I
complete the Canadian Flag label pin.
Now I do a little water burnishing on the shoulders and chest.
A little water, brush away a layer of paint, and then dab it off with my
I will come back during final details and do some edge blurring...so
remind me if I forget to show this process.
Masking was developed for a short term solution. Yep, and I
use it a ton. The perfect length of time for removal from my experience is about a
week, but as this painting progressed, I had left the masking on for almost a month with
no issues of removal. One thing I should note is that I only use 140lb hot pressed
which provides a very smooth texture which also keeps the masking from moving into the
fibers of the paper as it would for cold pressed papers.
I do use a plastic drafting eraser to remove the masking
and maybe that's the secret.
|I move back to Helen's jacket and with a
little more precision, I draw in the final shapes. I am now working from three
different photos, so sometimes I find myself erasing. Everything that I draw now has
to make sense and I have actually pulled out the jacket to verify what is really going on
in the photo.
I mask out the base of Helen's neck, her
right shoulder and Michael's hand on her left shoulder.
I keep a sheet of 90lb
Arches paper always handy for testing my colors, especially if there is a color that I
will need to build. And in this case, Helen's shirt color is one that I do not have
in my large collection of watercolor paints. The actual color of her shirt from the
photo appears to be somewhere between an Olivey green to a beige.
So I begin with three color patches, building each
with the base Gamboge. I keep track of what colors I use to get there. In the
case of Helen's shirt, I will layer Gamboge, Sap Green and Burnt Sienna to get to the base
I will keep this sheet as a reference sheet for
future reference. The three colors on the left were used for my last painting "
Letters to Heaven".
|I have completed the base color washes in
Helen's shirt. Now I give the whole jacket a water wash and then a transparent wash
I will come back with the shadows in the shirt
after I have completed the shadows in the jacket.
|The fabric of the jacket is amazing..almost
like tapestry, so I want to capture this feeling with my paints. I begin laying in
my colors using the banding method as I discussed earlier for Michael's sweater.
After each color is banded in, I do very gentle transparent washed to block
the pattern in the jacket. After each layer of wash I band that color in again so I
do not lose the lines as my template.
|I continue with wash after wash to get to
this point. I am not concerned with shadows at this point. I want the colors
to all reach the same level of intensity before I begin the shadowing. I am about
30% done at this point.
|I have added several washes to the right
side of the jacket and laid in three washes on the purse strap. Using Cadmium Orange as a
blending wash I cover the entire coat and then return with Indigo banding to bring the
tapestry effect back into the jacket.
My paintings are well
known for symbolism and hidden images and this painting remains consistent. In
studying the transition from Michael's sweater to Helen's jacket, I thought it would be
important to blend the two pieces of clothing with no contrast line between the two.
A symbol of two becoming one...forever bonded...how appropriate for their
|I begin adding details that cannot be seen
with the human eye in the photo. Who would ever known that there was a zipper
present. I utilize my computer to enhance the graphics...to see what is not visibly
present....these things are important to me as an Artist and I will paint them in even if
they disappear in the completion of this area of the painting.
||I use Indigo to build the shadows in the
jacket...the distinguishable separation between her arm and and her upper body.
I am really paying close attention to Helen's shape beneath the jacket to
build her form. Indigo is the perfect shadowing color for my style. It allows
the colors beneath to remain present.
|Using Mauve Indigo, and Sap Green, I
complete Helen's Shirt building folds in the fabric and shadowing. Be courageous
when you are blending colors to arrive at your final color.
I will come back to the color and complete the final shadowing after I
complete Helen's flesh tones and hair.
|I remove all the masking. I am very
satisfied with the results.