First wash

Sketch and watercolor first wash by Jo Myers-Walker

Sketch and watercolor first wash, with scarf for color inspiration

The Thursday-afternoon students at The Left Bank Studio have been working with value and composition, learning how to take their sketches and better compose them for painting. Then when you paint, it’s fun! The planning has already been done, and you have a roadmap to follow.

This sketch and painting are examples I made of how to get started. I love the colors in the scarf (pictured), and decided to go with warm dominance in the painting, inspired by those colors.

The painting shows the starting “first wash” step. We’ve been talking about story and the center of interest — where you want the viewer to “go” in the painting. Working from this beginning, should the center of interest be the guy coming out of the barn, the window on the left, or the chickens yet to be added?

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