According to him, her two favorite things are her family's farm property in Tennessee and her dog Tucker. So the project was to paint her at the property with her beloved fur friend.You can click the image to see it larger.
Below, I will show you how I painted this 14x11 inch watercolor, so read on if you'd like to see:
To help the client decide upon a scene, I do two sketches which you can see below - one in a meadow in front of a farm building and the other by a waterfall on the property. I email the images to the client to see which he prefers.
As you already know, he decides on the waterfall scene. He is in good company - I post the sketches on Facebook and almost everyone there likes the waterfall best too.
Next I do a small watercolor study of the scene with fall foliage since she loves autumn. I imagine it's a bit chilly by the falls in autumn, so a jacket or sweater is a good idea. I use artistic license to add a rock for them to sit on. Otherwise, I will paint the landscape pretty much as it is.
The study is helpful because it shows me what I would like to change. I decide to have the woman and dog gazing at the waterfall. I'll also change the color of her jacket to pick up the rust color of the tree. Now it's time to start painting!
Below is the updated sketch on 11x14 inch watercolor paper with a few initial washes for some of the rocks.
As long as I have rock colors mixed on my palette I decide to keep going until all the rocks are painted. I use wet-into-wet washes and allow some of the colors to mix right on the paper. When that is dry, I add details and dark values:
Leaving the white of the paper for the waterfall, I paint around it carefully.
Now that the rocks are all painted in, I will wait to make any needed adjustments later:
Next I paint trees and shrubbery. Those are the upper falls you see below:
More shrubbery at the lower falls:
The pool at the base of the falls reflects the waterfall, and the red bottom gives the water a rusty color. I add a few leaves floating on the surface:
Now it's time to paint the figures. The woman's light blond hair and the dog's white coat make a perfect contrast against the dark rocks:
After tweaking the values to get a good balance between light and dark and spending time adjusting details, the watercolor is finished.
I hope it brings many happy and relaxing memories of a most beautiful place!
I'm happy to take custom orders. Please contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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