I thought it would be fun to do a 'works in progress' for those of you who paint so you can see my progression through the painting process. Below is a picture of "Don". His wife is giving this to him for Christmas.
The painting starts with a blank piece of paper with a pencil drawing. I first add masking fluid to the parts that I want to keep white until the very end, such as eye sparkles. The only areas I masked on this painting were the dog's eye sparkle, his claws, and the shoe laces. This makes it easier to paint around those areas and not worry about saving the white of the paper. I then lay in the first wash by wetting the section I want to work on. In this painting I did a few sections; his face, the dog, the background, the clothes, and his boots. For his face, I wet all the areas except those where the sun hit him. Then I dropped in various colors - warm in the sun lit areas and cooler colors in the shaded areas. The second section was the background. Again, I kept the hat and face dry, and moistened the rest of the paper, then dropped in yellows and greens. For the first layers of most paintings, I work wet in wet, which keeps everything soft.
You can see at this stage I also did his shirt and pants as one large area for the first wash. I got the whole thing wet except for where the sun hits it, then dropped in different colors of blue, green and yellow. It's good to use more than one color in these first washes as they add interest and keep the painting from looking flat.
In the picture below I added more detail to the dog. I got the whole dog wet, then, with thicker but moist paint, added some of his stripes on his body and markings on his face.
Below I added the pocket details. Working with a less wet paper, but still moist to keep things soft, I used a little bit thicker paint for the lines of the seams. To get the right moisture on the paper, I use a nice sable brush and squeeze out the water so it's not dripping, but still has plenty of water in it. I run this over the areas I want to add soft details.
Although the picture below was after the picture above, you'll notice the dog's muzzle is lighter. I use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pads, the ones you find in the grocery store cleaning aisle, to 'erase' some of the paint. They don't have any harmful chemicals in them and are perfectly safe for painting.
Here I've added the first wash to the boot. I try to do the 'first wash' and maybe the 'first soft detail' step on each section before I progress to the final stage of the painting to put in the fine details, which I often do mostly on dry paper. Stay tuned for the final stages of this painting!
To see some painting tutorials, click here. Click on uploads and you'll be able to scroll down to see the tutorials. I have over 20 posted.