I've been preparing two new canvasses for a pair of paintings in the next size up: 24"x30". (Remember, I promised my gallery owner friend and my art group that I would do something large - 4ft x 5 ft - but that's too scary so I have to build up to it.) Since I'm nearly finished with the 16x20 Two Flowers painting, I'm ready to scale up. So far I'm a bit uncomfortable with this size but I suppose that is because I am moving out of my comfort zone.
I prepared both canvasses first with a wash of burnt sienna and then covered it with layers of turquoise, then a very light gray. The result is a slightly mottled warm blue color.
I let this background dry for several days and today I began to sketch a floral design on one of them. I don't like using charcoal on a light background because it smears and leaves a shadow that you have to paint over. Since my florals are very complex, it is better if I can avoid re-painting the background.
At first I tried using a turquoise pastel but I found that it didn't lay down well nor erase well. Darn. I will have to paint over this outline, just like I was hoping to avoid.
Exasperated, I began to simply sketch in white paint instead. This is a bit difficult to see in photographs but it worked well. It shows up enough to be a guide and I can take a tissue and easily wipe away any mistakes while the paint is still wet.
I sketched in outlines only, leaving two big, round spaces for the two large flowers and space for large leaves. I'm not sure what I am going to call these paintings yet, so I will refer to them as the Turquoise Duo.
Tomorrow I will paint a sketch on the second canvas, as I intend to paint them simultaneously.