Since I had already composed and drew the picture for a lesson I used a light box and traced the earlier project onto watercolor paper. This was a real time saver, but when I do a project I will often spend days composing it and sketching it over and over until I get it right.
In this case I had already looked at hundreds of pictures of gypsy women and portrayals of Esmeralda. I tried to combine the popular notion from today's media with historical photos to get a blend that was different yet recognizable as the character.
|Esmeralda The Gypsy Girl, Watercolor by Adron|
Once I had it sketched I started to layer in the colors beginning with the lighter washes first and then after they dry I went over with the darker values. I sort-of mix a little of the color on the paper lifting the lights into the top darker ones. I did a lot of dabbing technique in the background but it looked to splotchy and distracting so I did a clear wash over it to smooth the background out. I had to do a lot of lifting with clear water and tissue to bring up the lights in the clothing.
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