Friday, February 15, 2019

The Babysitter

"The Babysitter", 14.5x10.5", Watercolor
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This watercolor painting is of my 18-year-old granddaughter Hayley sharing time with my five-year-old grandson Palmer. My intent was to capture her tenderness and emotion which always shows through to her younger cousins. She literally has a baby in her arms, or a child in her lap at every family gathering. It's not surprising, she is studying to be a NICU nurse. 

I used a recent snap shot for my reference. The lightest values—reflected onto the faces and clothing—came directly from the iPad screen Palmer was playing with in his lap. I had to be careful to get those lightest highlights in immediately and hang on to them. 

Here was my step-by-step process. See photos below:

 1. I started with a light pencil drawing to capture the pose and gestures of the figures, and work out the composition.

 2. Working all over the page, I began blocking in the major shapes with light washes of watercolor.

3. Then, I started adding thin transparent washes of color over the existing layers to build up all of the areas especially in the darkest areas.

4. I continue adding more and more layers until all the values were correct and I was happy with the results.  

Once the paper was completely dry, I erased most of the pencil lines. I really like my underdrawing to be slightly visible. I think it makes the painting more interesting and helps define and gather forms and shapes. 

This is the largest watercolor I have worked on in a long time, and was pleased with the outcome.

Thanks for visiting today. 

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1. Initial pencil drawing 
2. Blocking in

3. Begin layering 
4. Final layers added

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