My paintings always begin with sketches and value studies. This is my tracing paper full-size sketch where I begin to flesh out my ideas. I moved the tree a little to the right to allow a better view of the structure and the windows. I also added a more rustic look with weeds and grasses.
Working with transparent watercolor pigments, I start blocking in the lights and darks moving quickly into some darker darks in the roofs. Again this helps me get a feel for the range of values I will use in the remainder of the painting.
A closeup shows that my glazes are fairly loose at this point. For example on the stone work, I’m using a vareity of colors, textures, and values but I’m not too concerned about the edges. I want some to appear soft, and others hard.
At this point I move down into the foreground area and lay in some big bold washes of color, letting pigments mingle on the paper. As the foreground darkens in value, it forces our eye to the light area on the building behind it, creating a sort of framing effect.
Now I complete the foliage on the tree, making sure I use a variety of colors and values to add interest. As I paint, I leave some of the light branches coming toward us to add depth.The painting is close to being finished, but I still need to darken the foreground shadows and finish the details.
The painting is complete. I’m pleased with the result. What do you think? ” Death Cannot Conquer” Painting of the Carthage Jail 16″ x 21″ Transparent Watercolor Painting by Roland Lee. Collection: Grant and Joyce Lee