Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bostonia watercolor: the very long process post

ETA: Crap, I knew I forgot something. You can now purchase this painting as a print, laptop skin, iPhone skin, or iPhone case on Society6.

So here -- after about five days of work -- I present to you, the Bostonia watercolor process post! It is very long, which hopefully will convey to you how annoying the linework was to complete.

First: I sketched out the linework in pencil from a photo I took my sophomore year at MIT (spring 2009) on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston's Back Bay.

I decided not to draw in all the flowers in pencil and just ink them. Still not sure if this was the best choice or not.

Then: I inked the whole business in sepia Micron pen, which is gloriously waterproof.

More inking . . . at about this point I started to have nervous qualms about whether it might be better to draw the flower outlines in white acrylic or perhaps in masking fluid. I ditched both of those plans more or less because I would have less control over the details in either of those media.

More qualming . . . I was very nervous the lineweights were all off. I'm thinking that I need to buy a variety of 005 Micron pens as well as my 01 standbys.

Finished inking and erased the pencil lines! Now for the individual flowers on the magnolia tree, which was a frankly exhausting endeavor.


The linework was so intense that I wanted the washes to be fairly light and uncomplicated. I also wanted the piece to read as all in the same palette, so I decided to do the sky in a golden yellow color instead of blue. 

Another step down the wash road, with some shading and a few accents. I thought about just leaving the tree white, but . . . my internal perfectionist/miniaturist came out to play screaming and kicking.

I didn't really organized my photo taking by "first wash," "first wash with shading," or anything sensible this time . . . basically whenever I set down my brush I took a quick picture. This was about the last photo I took before the ultimate scan. 

BAM. Very proud of this piece -- this is definitely a style I would be happy to continue to develop (and I have SO MANY PHOTOS to try re-interpreting with it.)

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