I’m working on a series of watercolors for a lovely woman who traveled to Antarctica with Quark Expeditions in March- the same company I’ve traveled with as artist-in-residence. The paintings are fun to develop and I’d like to share a few here along with my process of creating them. To begin, I cropped and tweaked the colors of my friend’s reference photos. Next, I made small value sketches to explore composition. I find value sketches extremely helpful- they don’t take long, and are an opportunity to sort out challenges before working on a larger scale! The sketches below are ~3″ x 5″ and are made with a mix of pencil, waterproof Pigma Micron pen, and a 2b Lyra Graphite Stick. I used my Sakura Koi waterbrush to blend the crayon (if you haven’t tried these before, I recommend picking one up! They’re fun to play with.)
After completing my value sketches, I lightly outlined my compositions onto Arches 140 lb cold-press paper and began painting. In this case, the paintings were fairly small (7″ x 5″). When I work larger, I’ll often do color studies first to explore my palette. With these, I just prepped a few extra sheets of paper to be available in case I wanted make other versions. In the end I was satisfied. These were fun to paint and are inspiring me to tackle more of my own Antarctic material. More projects! I invite you to learn more about commissioning custom work with me.
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