Imma show you the process from one of my paintings, “The Kiss”.
First I make a smaller sketch, enlarge it, and then transfer it onto paper. This painting measures 25″x40″, so I have a lot of ground to cover.
I want to illuminate the piece through the phones and the glitches on their faces, so I paint those areas first. One with a neutral reddish tone, containing some Winsor Yellow and Cadmium scarlet. I use a little cooler reds for the face so the hand can stand out. Then, I let it dry and apply some misket frisket to those areas. Frisket is a (terrible smelling) fluid which you may use to save or preserve specific parts of a painting so you can easily paint over it and not worry about being careful around those areas.
Here, you can see where I put the masking fluid (frisket) on by its texture. It feels kind of rubbery to the touch, and looks pretty shiny. Some masking fluids give off a different color. It all depends on what you buy. After the masking fluid is fully dry, I wet the entire paper and lay down areas of red and yellow where I want them to build up luminescence and let the paint flow across the paper. This is the really fun part because you don’t have to worry about the details, just the color.
I establish some dark values after the paper is bone dry. I simply re-wet the entire image and lay in more color. At this time in the piece I’m trying to create a color relationship between warm and cool tones. Here I want about 80% cool colors and 20% warm (which will come from the phone). Everything stays wet so the watercolors can do that thing it does: mix and mingle with one another
Here is where things start to get difficult. As you move towards completion there are less and less brushstrokes that you can add to the painting. Filling in the detail in the eyes, the hat, hands, and indicating texture. The ratio of pigment to water gets higher so colors appear more intense. Right now its sitting in a pretty neutral area of value. Things need to get darker, so I mix up a large amount of orange, green, purple, and blue to create a really dark color that will “turn on the lights”.
The mixture of paint I made was poured over this painting many times in order to build up value. I would wet the areas I needed to be darker and then pour a big cup of paint in there to make things pop. After a layer of that mixture dried, then I would rinse and repeat to get a rich tone with complexity. Oh, yeah, and the masking fluid I put on comes off, and those glitches and phones really shine against the dark background. There are some things in this painting that came out a little muddy and unorganized, but as a whole, I enjoy it. I like the composition and the idea, I just wish that I had taken better care and preserved the beanie’s luminosity that is present in the previous picture. Oh well, you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes.