I forgot to take a photo of this painting before I started adding in tone. I made the decision to work on a toned ground, then made the decision that I’d use a mix of complementary colors to make the grays to build up the tone. I don’t know why I decided to use Alizarin Crimson and Veridian other than it’s a pleasing mix, to me and I haven’t used it for a long time. Before I started the drawing, I washed a thin and even coating of Alizarin Crimson over the entire sheet of paper. When it was dry, I worked the drawing over it. The thin coating of Water and AC was barely visible to the naked eye but was enough to show up & contrast the mix of neutral AC & V when I began setting up the tone on the painting.
One of the ‘rules’ of watercolor painting that works for me; Start with a big brush, work from Light to Dark, Wet to Dry. Using a large sable round and a thin mix of the tone, I started at the top, worked from the dark area and into the light. Every element has been touched with paint, by now. If not in the 2nd round, at least from the first. The overall surface is exuding a rosy glow; the contrast between the red and the green. The way I’m thinking of this surface right now is that there is plenty of room for pushing back, bringing forward as I continue the process of work on this painting.
What I intend doing next is an all-over erasing the graphite with a Pink Pearl eraser. The two washes already applied have brought up a lot of graphite dust and I’m now finding the construction lines as unsightly, unnecessary, not smooth . ..
I’ve also washed in very thin layers of Light in the form of color. There’s UB mixed with the tone mix, applied in a thin wash in the blue areas of the checked towel as well as the blue napkin behind the Peach. Eventually, as I work farther, this pale wash will be seen only in the white check in the towel pattern. The next time I work in this area, I’ll be adding more color mixed with tone in a higher value (thicker, but still watery paint) and will go around the white check.
I also used YO in the places on the ivory-colored cloth where there is the most Light. I mixed it with tone to do the area behind the peach and the cards. The lightest area is where I used pure Indian Yellow; enough to create a glow between the blue surrounding it. The layers of color and tone were quite watery, but thicker than the 1st 2 layers of paint.
Today is the most spring-like day we’ve had in all of 2010. What a blessing. Sun, blue sky and a temperature forecast to be in the 50’s.
Here it is, an hour later.
And here's an example of the Neutral mix made of Alizarin Crimson and Viridian; I've tried to keep the mix more on the Viridian side than the Alizarin Crimson...
I worked on the painting for a few hours this morning, adding more tone, more depth, smoothing things out... I'm pleased with this painting for now and will probably be done with it soon -- later, tomorrow.... Using the AC + V was ok but not my favorite tone. I'm thinking about what it is I want to try next painting....