The initial sketch is drawn in pencil and it really needs to have some 3D. It looks so flat. The way I accomplish this depth is to show where the light is in the painting.
Where is the light? I choose a light source coming down and hitting the objects from the top left corner of the painting down to the bottom right corner. As I apply light watercolor washes I look at each object in the drawing and decide where the light would hit first to find my highlighted area. I see parts of the object further from the light and that will be my medium tones. Last, I figure out where shadows will be cast from the object. Where is the light being blocked? This is where I put my darkest colors.
I like to paint from left to right if possible because I am right handed. If I start on the right side of the painting and move to the left, I will invariably drag my hand over wet areas and mess things up. I use a New Gamboge wash to give a golden yellow color to the ilima strand establishing it as a different subject so I don’t mistake it for leaves later on.
Systematically, I highlight the leading edge of each leaf, then quickly lay some sap green into the medium tone area letting the paint do its magical watercolor mix thing in between.
Sketching layout. My first step is layout of a basic figure similar to the other figures that I illustrated in her healing book. It will soon be published then I can tell you more about it.
Here is the first part of the layout sketch locating all seven symbols on the figure.
My concept is to treat each location as an extension of the proper color of glow eminating from the symbol across the corresponding body part in a curve.
I have to alternated the placement of symbols on both sides of the figure to fit them so they will fit in the book layout and still be readable. The glow sections also alternated from side to side being separated by white dotted curves to help divide.
After the creation of these roughs for John Dini I was able to get to work doing a more final pencil drawing for each scene. See the YouTube video below. Storytelling with a pencil… story board images for author John Dini, and his book entitled “Hunters in a Farmers World”. These images were part of his author’s tour slide show presentation for his book.
Chrome owned by Cornerstone Danes in Oroville WA. Absolutely beautiful dog. Please check out their website. I loved the position of one of the pictures used as a reference but got a lot of great detail in lighting from the seconde reference photo. Here is the beginning sketch with mastick (resist) applied to the paper to help reserve the important white areas.
Okay. It is simply finishing up for me now. Blossoms in front and behind with shadows to show them in 3D. Leaves here and there some with details, some very light behind.
I try to ensure enough variety of texture and tone to keep the eyes discovering different parts as you tour the painting. Hummingbirds just do that to me naturally.
This is a 22″w x 30″h watercolor on 300lb. watercolor paper work. It is entitled, “Hummingbirds, Seven J1516” and if you’d like to see it then head on down to the Kress Gallery on the third floor of Riverfront Park Shopping Center (behind and to the right of the food vendors). It will be there through Nov 28th. This painting is at the top of the ramp going up into the gallery on the left hand side. If you are interested in purchasing it, just let me know.