How I create a Watercolor Painting….Step 2

Once the drawing is made, then you have to turn the photograph, which is one dimension, into a three dimension image.  A photograph is flat, yet, animals and objects are round, square, etc.  In order to create the illusion of curves and planes, you use shadows and light and dark areas.  The next step after the drawing is made is to identify those areas that are dark or in shadow.  Then, those areas that are a medium value and those that are light.  By identifying those areas and inking them in – you can create depth , curves, and planes.  This is shown in the ink sketch.  As you compare it to the original drawing, hopefully, you can begin to see the curves, shadows and depth. This ultimately should create a three dimension painting.

The artist wants the viewer to become intellectually and emotionally engaged with the painting.  They want you to get involved and travel around in the painting, spend some time there , and explore the painting. Use you imagination to see parts that may not be fully developed.  Bring up memories.

The eye tends to follow darks as a pathway or road through the painting. Do you spend more time in the ink sketch than in the drawing?

All this pre-planning in important in watercolor.  There are exceptions to every rule, but, basically, once you apply a color, that’s it.  This is a greatly simplified statement – but you get the point.   You do not have “do-overs” like you do in oil paintings.  In oil, you can layer one color over another.   In the next episode,  I will show the final painting where color has been applied.  YEAH!!

2 thoughts on “How I create a Watercolor Painting….Step 2”

  1. Annette, this is a great explanation of how you get the 3D form and how your eye travels through the painting. I love the ink sketch. Such a sweet face and character the front animal has. Are you using ink with a brush? It is so smooth. Do u always do an ink sketch first as well as a drawing?


    1. Rachel – I kinda got away from the ink sketch – and when I do it my painting as sooooo much better. I use the Bristol drawing paper with a smooth surface and the TOMBOW N15 pen. It has two ends. Use it on the drawing than then use water in a regular brush to drag to to medium value areas. I love it. I am forcing myself to use it. When you see the finished painting – you;ll see why – lots of whites – a nice black pathway. I just have to make myself slow down and do the ink sketch – I am always in a hurry to paint!!


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