This is the first time I really documented a painting of mine. While not a lot of phases were captured, I hope this shows how some methods I adopted contribute to each step.
Please note that colour names are based on what I was using, which were Caran d’Ache’s water-soluble crayons. I use these in a similar fashion to watercolours, as in I take pigment from the crayons with a damp brush, and then bring it to paper, rather than applying a wash over dry-coloured areas.
Draft completed; 2H graphite on 14×20″ Arches hot press. My husband helped tremendously by taking a photo of me, which I used heavily as a reference throughout the entire painting process.
Closeup of the draft. Due to the relatively unforgiving nature of watercolours, attention to detail and precision at this formative stage is absolutely crucial.
The android’s metallic “skin” tone is established, in steel grey and dark grey, with fine detailing in greyish black. Naples yellow is used for underpainting her eyes and the goldfish, which helps establish a lovely rich glow later on. This is all done with a 1/4 slanted brush, which I find is great for shading.
Facial detailing – the fun part! Greyish black is used to add further depth around her eyes, while golden yellow and vermillion are used on the eyes themselves. Purple is used for decoration, black for her lashes, and prussian blue for her eyebrows.
Started work on her hair, in prussian blue. This is done mostly with a 003 round brush, and sometimes a 1 round was used to cover a little more ground.
At the time, I had a preference for Windsor & Newton’s Cotman brushes (months later I rewarded myself with the greatly prized W&N Series 7 kollinsky brushes, along with Robert Simmons’ Sapphire and Expression brushes…). A folded double-sheet paper towel is what I use to dab excess water or pigment from my brushes. Another folded single sheet paper towel is used for immediate blotting should mistakes occur.
A closeup reveals how some hair strands were protected with colourless masking fluid, which makes it easier to paint hair behind these strands without disrupting flow/movement. The waterlily in her hair was also masked, although all the WIP shots show that I already had it removed, revealing clean white paper, untarnished by blue hair.
17 hours later, the hair is completed.
So here’s a huge leap from one stage to the next. The goldfish was completed with green ochre, yellow, and vermillion for the body, and black for the pupil. The waterlilies were washed very lightly with grass green before being painted over in carmine, and finally yellow used to highlight the centre of one flower. Both the android and the goldfish are inked with a 005 Copic Multiliner.
Here is a closeup of the goldfish. A dot of white ink was used to highlight its eye and give it some life.
Closeup of the face and hair. By now the background wash and splatters have been applied, thus completing the image., which can be seen here in the site’s gallery.