The Daily Post has a weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “Launch.” I decided to show you the launch of a new project and since a blank piece of watercolor paper isn’t very interesting, here is my palette. I carefully cleaned up the mixing surface and around the edges of the paint wells. Then, since it is a new year, this is a new project, and I will be starting a new class this week, I put fresh paint in the wells. It turned into a somewhat messy (no, not messy – artsy!) project, but what an inspiration seeing all that juicy paint just waiting to have a brush dipped into it!

Juicy fresh paint for the launch of a new project!

I will be blogging as I do this project, so please be sure to come back and follow along.

This photo of my brothers and me was in the album that my mother put together from my childhood.

An old black and white photo, yellowed into sepia tones

A couple of years ago, I took the photo and decided to paint a picture from it.  It turned out well, and I gave it to my older brother (the one on the left in the photo) for Christmas.  It was the first time I had made an unsolicited gift of my art.  Being a nice brother, he said that he likes it and it hangs over his desk in his office.

First rendition

The more I thought about the picture, the more I liked it and wanted to enter it into our local artists’ show.  As my brother doesn’t live close to me, I had to paint another copy for myself.  I wanted to leave the areas where the sun is shining as white paper and see if the viewer would “fill in the blanks.”  I think this second rendition is better than the first one.  It hung in my husband’s office (do I see a trend here?) until he retired.

Second Rendition

Now my mother, who remembers taking the picture over fifty years ago, has asked me for a copy that she can hang in her house.  So here we go again, and I’m planning what I will do differently to hopefully make the third rendition better than the second.

On sketchbook paper, I did a line drawing, with some of the shading done on the faces.  I place homemade carbon paper under the line drawing and trace it onto watercolor paper.

Tracing the image

Then I applied masking fluid over the areas which I want to stay white.  I will leave a lot of the background white also, but I want to be freer with my application of paint on the figures and the masking lets me do that without worrying about spoiling the whites. Since the masking fluid has to dry completely before I can paint, this is a good stopping place and I’ll get back to work on Monday.

Gray masking fluid

19 thoughts on “Launch

    • Thanks for visiting my blog! I looked at yours today and got excited about the cute snowman! I used to make baby toys like this using little girls’ socks, stuffed and with the lacy cuff turned down to make a hat for the “baby.” No buttons or glued-on pieces, but a simple embroidered face (closed eyes and a circle for a sleepy mouth). Thanks for reminding me. I can make them for my grandchildren now!

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch [grandpa teaches the "American Pastime" to Brazilian grandkids] « 3rdculturechildren

  2. I have enjoyed visiting here, and will be back. One thing that would help me when I view your art is to know the size of the paper. When you say “20 bond” I assume it’s just regular copy-paper size. The rest are a bit of a mystery unless some identifiable object appears with it, like a brush. Or you can just give dimensions. Thanks! Love the second rendition of the old photo of you & sibs.

  3. Thanks for visiting my site and for the suggestion. The 20 bond is regular copy paper, 8.5″ x 11″. Sitting on a Curb is on a piece of 140# watercolor paper that is 18″ x 22″. I intend for the final image to be 15″ x 19″ and framed to 20″ x 24″.

  4. Pingback: It’s called Art WORK! « Ruth Bailey, artist

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