As a Christmas gift, I did a watercolor of my folk’s cottage in Door County for them. I’m fairly pleased with the outcome, but of course, there are things I would tweak if I could. I took pictures, and scanned the piece as I went (with varying degrees of success). I experimented a bit in my sketchbook first, completeing each step as I thought I would in the final project to see if I liked the overall effect. I’ll post it later (since I don’t have that sketchbook with me today). Click on any of the pictures to see ’em bigger.
There was in intermediate step in which I penned in the cottage outline and some of it’s details using a black Micron 005. I personally like the definition that the pen line gives to the piece. I was glad to have experimented in my sketchbook first, because it gave me an appreciation of how much pen could be too much and give the piece too much of a cartoony look.
In addition to my sketchbook rough, I also did a watercolor rough. I’d only ever used pan watercolors before, but had a set of tube watercolors I was itching to use. I tried them out on the rough, and although I liked the colors I got, I had a hard time adjusting to starting with a liquid instead of a solid. As a result, I reverted back to the pan watercolors for the final painting. The cottage ended a bit bluer that the blue grey it should be, and the chimney ended a bit redder than I would prefer. Paint goes on the page:
The cottage has been named Mole End as a nod to the Mole End of the Wind in the Willows series of children’s books by Kenneth Grahame. I chose to incorporate my sign and mole into the “matte” instead of the painting itself because it certainly has a cartoony quality, and it’s entirely my interpretation—which might be completely inaccurate since I never actually read the series. Personally, I think he’s kinda cute (as far as any mole can be considered cute). Detail: