Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Postcard from Georgetown

Before we left Washington D.C. today, I did one last watercolor in the mini Moleskine.
First, here’s the street corner of 31st and M as it appeared to the camera.

Inspired by all of your kind comments on the October 15 post (grazie, Maurizio, mi fai tanti complimenti), I thought I’d try the idea of accentuating the lighting contrast to simulate the look of old photos.

So I laid in the broad shadow masses a bit darker than they appeared, and kept the light sides of all the forms a bit lighter than they actually appeared. The only pure white is the central building. White shapes in the center of a composition are a sure-fire eyeball magnet.

This time I remembered the fountain pen with the brown ink. It’s an old Waterman with a pump mechanism inside that slurps fountain pen ink right out of a bottle. The ink is water-soluble, so the line work has to be done after all the washes.

Jeanette uses a brown Micron with permanent ink so she doesn’t have to worry about dissolving her lines if she needs to add additional washes. But we both like to add line work and details last to avoid a “coloring book” look. Lines defining the light side of the form aren’t really necessary, and leaving them off gives a nice touch.


Scott Radtke said...

I'm really enjoying your website. I haven't painted in a long time, and I was wondering if you could do a post about your kit. So far I've gotten a lot from bits and pieces and would love to see something more comprehensive as to the tools you use. If it's a trade secret I understand. Haha.

Anonymous said...

I've greatly enjoyed your Dinotopia book, which got me interested in your art in general. The final version of the Georgetown street reminds me very much of the old style postcards. I love architecture, especially of the older buildings, and this is extremely well done. Thanks for sharing!