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Christmas triptych

For these diary comics I wanted to get back to paint. I’ve been working quite a bit with a focus on line-work and felt the urge to move colour around, allowing a bit of unpredictability to sneak in. After putting down some quick half-hearted sketches that felt like more of the same (below), I had the idea to create a triptych and get a bit more practice in environment painting. I started with a quick sketch to get an idea of shot and colours (also below),  then took photo reference from these angles to help with accuracy (and to save time!)12.24-26.15.moleskin

This took about twenty minutes to get in the loose linework, and painting took place over a few small sittings, allowing paint to dry in between each before putting in another layer, totalling around two hours. The emphasis was on splashing paint down roughly and hoping for the best, trusting the watercolours to do their own thing. Below, the mixing plate I used, emphasising the ability of watercolour to create beautiful patterns and unexpected harmonies in the hands of even the most unartistic brutes!

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I didn’t have photo reference for the colours of the sunsets, relying on memory instead. Rain effects were created by laying down masking fluid before the painting began, with masking fluid also used for parts of the cottage and surfaces of wood fencing etc. The piece as it is on paper is still only half-finished, knowing as I did that I wanted the freedom of digital letting and layout to finish the piece.
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And here it is. I think the digital side of things took as long as the actual painting. Completed as it was at A4 size I think there is plenty of room for improvement, and perhaps next time an A3 size piece will give me a little more freedom to get in with more detail. Greater planning of colour will help create a more holistic piece. My fave bits are the heavy night sky in the middle panel, and the loose gestural approach to the cottage.12.24-26.15