The Frog Stalker – Process


I’m hoping that maybe posting this sketch will give the courage to overcome the intimidation factor so it doesn’t sit here for weeks while I “think” about painting it. 😁


And so it has begun. So much going on here, but I’m going to try to keep it simple and loose until I get to the figure. The grasses and leaves that I want to keep sunlit are masked out. The figures is also masked just to keep it clean while I work on the background.

This is being done on 140lb. Arches cold pressed paper, not quite a half sheet, 13.5 x 16.5 with lightfast colors from Winsor & Newton, M. Graham, and Daniel Smith. This photo image looks very gray. It’s more green, so hopefully the next photo will be better.


Steps 3 and 4 more of the pond grasses go in and the masking comes off. Once the grasses that were masked go in, it will be time to start on the figure.


Just a few more details on the background grasses and pond and I’ll be ready to start on the figure.


And the figure has begun!!


And we’re almost done. A little more detail on the face and hair, refine the shadows and I think I will be able to step away.


And it is complete. I tried something new on the flesh tones, that I learned about on a Susan Winton video.Β  She uses new gamboge as an underwash, followed by scarlet lake or quinacradone red. Scarlet Lake is a fugitive pigment so I tried Holbein’s Gamboge Nova followed by Daniel Smith’s Naphthol Red. I really liked the effect. I’m not 100% happy with the facial features and may try a couple of things. But, not wanted to ruin it, I will go very easy and it may just stay as is.

Yes, I went back in. Mary Whyte said on her Mastering Watercolor Portraiture DVD that you are done with a painting when there is nothing that you can possibly do to make it better. I had to try to improve what I did not like about his face.


I am happier with it.


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