Today I did more work on the water, darkening it. I also kept fiddling with the rest of the painting, adding more blue to the top of the sky, intensifying the color in the ducks, and darkening between the reeds behind them.
I added the lettering because I wanted the look of a bird illustration. Then I tried to spatter some thinned burnt umber paint over all, but wasn’t too successful with that. I was trying for an aged look.
The final steps were to darken the left side with watercolor washes and, also with watercolor, add some more brilliant color to the ducks. Finally, I dry-brushed a little warm white acrylic for highlights on the ducks’ backs. I like the off-white paper. It allowed me to leave some parts of the painting untouched without that stark white look.
Overall, I’m happy with this. I’m thinking I may re-do this painting in pastel, widening it to the right and adding more details such as, perhaps, a frog or turtle head peeking out of the water on the right.
By the way, I used M. Graham watercolors and like them very much. The colors are so pure. My palette consists of about 15 colors which I have found to be plenty for all my needs.
Another by the way – I really like the combination of watercolor pencils, ink, and watercolor on drawing paper. The drawing paper is smoother than cold press watercolor paper (and I have found hot press to be too soft for pencils) and is perfect for the watercolor pencils. The watercolor pencils allow for many many glazes for a slow build up of color. Then a final addition of watercolor works fine because the watercolor pencil has “sealed” the paper so that it doesn’t warp. Also, the watercolor is “workable” longer, giving plenty of time to soften edges.