I have avoided trying full sheets of watercolor only because I have to have the space to work with the larger pieces. I have bought Arches paper as well as Fabriano paper. However, I had it all stored away and have continued to work on either a half sheet or close to with Canson.
I loved a picture I took of Telacapaque, a district in Guadalajara, Mexico. The colorful scene with bunting, tourists, vendors with all sorts of wares and great art (visual and other types) and great architecture is wonderful. I painted a small piece to display at the last show with the Lake Chapala Painting Guild. However, I wasn't happy with the outcome. I had too many things incorrectly positioned and needed to calm the piece down a bit.
So, I decided to try the large piece of paper and see what it could do with this lovely scene I wanted to paint. It was daunting because completing the washes had to be done flat; improvising my kitchen counter and utilizing a quilting mat for a backing. However, daunting as it was, slowly as the piece started to come together, I was quite happy with the results.
After having painted the first small piece, then redrawing the piece with better perspective, then working out the colors that I wanted to use for the larger areas, I finally set to the task. The building and its shadows were difficult enough. I kept retracing my steps and looking at the original photograph on my tablet to see what I missed, what I didn't capture before, what I missinterpreted.
After almost a week, the painting came to life. I think I will still be able to tweak it with more shadows or adding a little more color to the bunting. However, I'm happy with the addition of people into the scene and how the building and shadows have appeared so far. My arms are tired, especially my shoulders because it is not easy working in a big area without laying the piece down or moving it around to make different corners easier to access for detailed work. However, as I try more pieces of this size, I'm sure I'll uncover some hidden secret to make it more comfortable to paint!