I had a great opportunity to demonstrate a watercolor scene of Venice this past two days at Galeria Sol Mexicano. The first morning, I began leisurely by having my tonal value study ready from the picture I had taken last September when in Venice. I chose the photo for its great color in the reflections of the water.
After preping my watercolor paper with another pencil drawing the night before and soaking the paper for 5 minutes in a tray, I set the paper on a corragated plastic board with tape to dry overnite. So had I had my drawing, a copy of the photo and the watercolor paper ready to go. What I didn't yet have was my set of colours I wanted to work with.
I decided on 9 colours. It started out as 7, but later, I found I needed the help of indigo and violet to really get my shadows in play. I used Cobalt blue for the sky and first application of water. I used a mixture of yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna for the buildings. I mixed a grey with alizaran crimson, ultramarien blue and burnt umber for the first set of shadows and the major shadows on the right side of the picture where the buildings were obscured.
I used a very small amount of veridian in some of the shuttered windows as well as in the reflections. I also added a little veridian to my ultramarine for one of the other sets of shutters.
I kept reapplying these at varying strengths in various parts of the picture. Eventually, I applied more wash to the water and the right buildings. Then the buildings on the left began to pop and I needed to get some fine lines and further strengthening of shadows. It took around 8 hours from the start of applying the paints to the final picture.
I had many visitors stop, spend time watching, asking questions, following along with my process and also some who came back to see the final version. Some more pictures of the process can be seen on my facebook page artistsoniamocnik. Have a look if you have time and want to see more of the progress.
This will be the start of the series I will be doing on photos I took while in the Mediterranean about the Queen Victoria where I was teaching watercolor. I will be displaying these hopefully at a show in the summer. Also, I will be teaching again in September about the Queen Elizabeth for 17 days. I am looking forward to prepping for that trip and also will be utilizing this study for one of my classes coming up in the spring! Happy Painting!