Stalks on Sky

I had a piece of scrap watercolor paper left over from getting my house sheet down to the correct size.  Since my house had no sky to speak of, I didn’t get the chance to apply Tom’s tips for painting clouds.  This scrap piece – long and skinny – seemed perfect for a sky.  I also had a super neat sky picture, taken by my brother Beentz, who is quite the photog.  I can’t find the exact picture in our mammoth library of pictures, so here are a few sample photos, so you can appreciate the kind of source material I have to work with.  I’m pretty sure Benny took all of these.

The picture I based the painting off was pretty similar to the first picture, only even better (you can kind of see it in the photo below).  To begin, I used my wash brush to wet the whole paper, then I watered down solid blue and painted in the blue areas, leaving white areas for clouds.  I then added in some purple mixed with brown mixed with blue, to add shadows and depth to the clouds.  Here is my first stage:

Here is the painting after adding in the cornstalks:

Here is the final draft, after layering in some more colors on the stalks (brown mixed with purple for the base of the stalks and the undersides of the leaves and brown mixed with orange for the lighter leaf sections):

I’m fairly happy with how this turned out.  Part of the reason I’m documenting these drafts on this blog, is so that I remember how I did this!  I feel I got lucky with how the clouds turned out, but hopefully I’ll be able to achieve a similar effect next time by following these notes.

I think I’m going to tackle a Lucent pix next time.  He’s mostly shades of tan, so that shouldn’t be too hard, right?!  Speaking of Lucent, do you want to see something gross?  Tim gave him a bath on Sunday and washed, literally, a whole Lucent’s worth of hair off the poor chihoo.  See for yourself:

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