Here is my first painting for the semester- a little 6x7" spot illustration of my pretty niece, Emma:
A special thanks to my talented mother, Margarita Bromley, the excellent photographer who took the photo that I used as reference for this painting. Her lovely photographs have been the reference material for so many of my illustrations over the years!
Lesson Learned: Paint outside the lines!
The first module of this course taught me to throw out the painstakingly precise application of paint that has ruled my artistic approach ever since my childhood. As a kid, I always carefully colored inside the black lines of my Barbie coloring books and painted perfectly within the designated areas of my paint-by-numbers. According to the experts, however, it is better to take a loose approach to watercolors, and it is okay to paint outside the lines!
For this approach, paint the middle value first, then paint through adjacent shapes of the same or similar values so that the colors start to bleed together. Of course, test it on a scrap of paper first to make sure that running the colors together won't result in a muddy color. I still had to be precise in the areas of detail (I used masking fluid for the eyes, teeth, and highlights and patterns on the clothing), but it was fun to let the colors bleed together around the edges, and the soft edges helped to draw more attention to the sharp detail on the face (the focal point of my illustration). Those soft edges I was able to achieve with this technique created sort of an atmospheric blur like you can achieve in photography by using a large aperture.