I went for a walk today in the Oregon Garden and tried out my new art bag and travel chair and my new lap board. Everything worked great. The first thing I did was walk around looking for an interesting subject where I could sit in the shade. I finally found a spot, deployed my new chair, sat down and looked around. I spotted two possible subjects – dark cattails in silhouette, and a large bush with spectacular white blossoms. I opened my bag and pulled out a small clipboard. I had clipped several sheets of typing paper to it before I left the house. I did two quick thumbnail sketches and a larger analytical sketch to warm up and learn a thing or two about my subject. I then pull out my Moleskine watercolor notebook and drew the white bush using a Uni-Ball Vision black 0.7 pen which is waterproof. This is a new pen for me and this was the first time I had tried it on location. I really like it. It is very smooth and the ink drys immediately and does not bleed when you add watercolor. Here are my preliminary sketches and field notes which I wrote after completing the watercolor sketch.
I protected the white highlights of the blossoms with a white Phano China Marker. It was hard to see where I put it (drawing white on white) so I kept track as best I could and worked across the page from left to right. I knew that the wax would leave a splotchy texture on this watercolor paper and give the impression of many small flowers within the large blossom heads.
I worked from light to dark waiting for each layer to dry before applying the next. Finally I added interest in the background by lifting lights and adding darks.
Here’s a photo reference I took after I was done.
All in all a fun and productive outing.