Using different mediums to create a painting can give a variety of artistic effects and techniques. For the painting of Pete’s Place above I used a variety of mediums: graphite, soluble pen, watercolour pencil, watercolour paint and acrylic. I started the painting with a line drawing of the major shapes. This painting was worked from a photograph sent to me by one of my class members who owns this beach house in Australia. The Good Thing about the photograph was it was set up in such a way that the focal point/s were all in the optimum placement for focal points so all the compositional work was done for us! So then this gave more time to think about using a variety of mediums.
When the graphite line drawing was complete I used watercolour paint to apply light washes to the sky, the building and in the foreground I used a flesh tint for the ground, always a perfect colour to under paint sand or grit. I then used a soluble pen to mark in the shadows cast by the surf boards. Later on I wet the soluble ink so it blended in with the watercolour paint. I used watercolour pencils to strengthen the tone of the lines of the wooden structure, and also to place darker lines where there was more cast shadow evident.
The palm tree – I used a fan brush and this is the perfect brush for these trees. The technique: wet the edge of the brush, not all the brush, cover the edge with your paint and use a semi circular brush stroke to make the shapes of palm tree leaves.
I used watercolour pencil powder for the texture on the right hand side of the composition. The technique: wet the paper you are going to apply the powder to. Take a piece of sandpaper and rub the pencil tip on to the sandpaper. The powder falls on the paper and as it does some soaks into the paper but because the paper is drying as you work some of it adheres to the surface of the paper and does not soak completely into the paper, a perfect way to make texture for a variety of subject matter e.g. speckle on fruit, texture on stone surfaces, distant flowers, just a few examples of how useful this technique can be.
It was now necessary to strengthen up the tones of my painting, bearing in mind Australia at the present time is experiencing extreme heat and when that happens colour intensifies. I added a strong tone of blue to the sky, strong tones of red and greens to the building and used a variety of mixed purples for the shadows on the building. When the sky was 100% dry I used a large round headed brush and applied zinc white acrylic for the white clouds moving slowly across the sky.
I again used my fan brush to add further shape to the palm tree. I used a range of green colours (light, medium and dark) to make the impression of the trees and the grass growing around the building. I used a light wash of the light green over the foreground. Some of the surf board shapes are the colour of the paper and the other parts are made up of grey and pink colours, very light tone.
Finally, I used the soluble pen to strengthen up the lines around the surf boards and the shadows behind and to the left of them.