This week I am helping a class of art students at Massaponax High School work through their first watercolor paintings. We began last week studying our subjects outside and working to develop an interesting arrangement and perspective, considering the design and composition of the shapes created from the cast shadows. We set objects in the sun to create a strong light source, good lights and darks and value contrast.
Having never done watercolor, it will be hard to see how each step will lead to a final painting. Using the images the students selected, I painted small color and composition studies that will serve as guides to working through their paintings. Not only for the class, but for studio paintings, I will often do a small study to "test" color selections, pigment mixes and properties.