It is early March and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission has begun stocking trout in the Hatchery Managed and Delayed Harvest mountain waters.....it is time to get ready to go fishing! This and the fact it has been too cold to work in the woodshop were the inspiration and incentive for my latest painting, "Ready To Go."
My daughter, Jenny, is always telling me I need to take pictures as I progress through a project and I set out with the best of intentions on this one..........oh well!
I posed my wading boots and fly rod/reel on my workbench, remember too cold for woodworking, to use as a reference for the painting.
I then sketched out the outlines of the painting on parchment paper and traced it onto stretched 140 lb Arches watercolor paper. I do this because invariably there is a significant amount of drawing, erasing and redrawing that goes on and this can damage the paper and effect the way it absorbs the watercolor. I added additional details of the painting (siding, floor boards and door panels) directly on the watercolor paper and was ready to paint.
I then laid in the background elements, the siding, porch floor and entry door. I did not like the initial hues of the siding and floor and glazed over them with other hues to deepen the grey tones of the floor and warm the siding.
And then I forgot to take pictures!
This is the near final painting. I first painted the individual aspects of the boots, rod and reel. I used a couple special effects at this stage using Gum Arabic to add gloss to the lamp black along the tops of the boots and sprinkling salt on wet paint to add texture to the boot soles. I then went back and added detail working primarily wet in wet to give the boots depth and shape. Finally, I added shadows of the boots, rod, reel and fly line and darkened the original shadows on the siding and door.
"Ready To Go" is a full sheet watercolor, the image is approximately 21"X29". I will frame it with 3" double mats. It will be approximately 32"X40" framed. I think I will have this scanned to make prints available.
I hope you enjoy it, it was fun to do. Let me know what you think!
John Schwartz - watercolorist and woodworker.