Listening To: James Taylor - Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon
I sat down at my drafting table not knowing what to draw. It's not that I don't have projects to do... but I was in a weird sort of mood and I just needed to clear my head. I reached for my idea file. It's where I put all my art ideas and unfinished pieces... it's like a creative to-do list. There's lots of interesting pictures and little scraps of paper - notes I've written to myself and stashed away for a rainy day. Anyway, I found a bunch of nice frog reference pictures in there and I decided on that for this session's subject.
The preliminary pencil sketch went very quickly and I was inking it in before too long. I inked in the outline and a few interior details with my favorite drawing tool (currently), the Repidosketch. Then I erased the pencil lines and started thickening up the ink outline.
I chose a 5"x7" piece of watercolor paper to work on. It's actually really great stuff... it's Strathmore 500 Series Aquarius II® Watercolor Paper. It has the wonderful ability to remain flat while you paint on it. You don't even need to tape it down on a board... very unusual for watercolor paper!
Next came the color... I got out my trusty watercolors and starting blocking in the lightest shades of green.
Then the reds and browns... and more greens... I'm really enjoying myself by this point.
I spent some time developing the medium and dark areas, mixing darker and darker colors as I went until it looked done to me. The last thing I did was to put the subtle shadow on the white wall under the frog. That really grounded him in the space...
Here is the finished piece. He looks like he might jump off the page. At the end of creating a successful piece I always get the same wonderful rush of satisfaction. Luckily it looks better than I expected... which always inspires me to do it all over again, as soon as possible. But, as always, I'm quickly out of time and the session is over. Let's hope the next one is longer.