Watercolor Project: Farmer's Market Week 1
The first thing I did after I had my drawing on my paper was to protect the areas I wanted to leave white with masking fluid (blue arrows). This will allow me to do washes and work with a bigger brush and not worry about painting around areas I want left white. I will remove it after I am mostly done working in that area and not worried about accidentally going over my white areas.
Only the protected part of the paper will be left white, everything else and be brought down in value.
Next I applied several washes of a neutral gray to tint the rest of the paper. I used what I call "palette gray" made by mixing all the leftover paint in the cool area of my palette, but if you need to mix the color, my standard gray is ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, remember to use lots of water so it is only a tint.
Look at the arrows in this second image and you will see 3 layers of this gray I added (arrows) The top of his head is the value of the first wash, I let it dry. I then went over all of the next darkest areas (see the wall arrow) with another layer of gray leaving lighter areas unpainted, I let it dry before adding yet another layer of value to even darker areas of my painting leaving lighter areas unpainted.
Please note: You do not need to make darker and darker mixtures of gray, you use the same value you started with when you did the first light wash. Because watercolor is transparent, if you let it dry first before adding the next layer, the layer(s) underneath will make the new layer look darker because of the previous layer(s) will show through.
You should have your reference photo in front of you so you can refer to it as you paint these layers of value. See where the light hits the worker's shoulders then moves into shadows on his chest and face? Paint around these areas with the next layer of tint, this will work to your advantage as you progress.
After I did several layers of the gray tint, I started adding color into areas where the fruit will be. Note that it is just a mass of color, not individual pieces of fruit and also not that the tint is light, remember that in watercolor you work from light to dark so this first color represents the lightest colors you will see.
The 2 toned patch in the foreground is done wet into wet. Either add a second color into the first while it is wet by just touching areas with the new color or if you have let it dry, re-wet the area then touch the area with the new color. Let the paint do most of the work, just drop and touch in the wet and the paint will do the rest.
Also, I had protected the mini-lights with masking at the start of the painting as well (see arrows). They should be dots close together in the background and more like dashes as they come forward and spaced further apart.
This is as far as I got in our first class. Do not be intimidated by the complexity of a subject, you can only paint it one brush stroke at a time, so relax and take your time, think about what you are painting and why breaking it down to one brush stroke at a time then even the most complicated of paintings will come together in the end. Be patient with yourself and the process.
Keep painting and I will see you in class.