Project 8 was a choice project and with it I chose to begin my concentration. The concentration of my portfolio will explore the concept of home, what it means to me as well as to others, and how the concept of home changes and evolves during a person's life.
I was browsing through old photos when I came across this one. In this picture, my young neighbor is tottering on her bicycle back towards her house. To me the photo spoke not just of home, but of neighbors and friendship, those other than family that make a house a home.
I decided to do this piece in watercolor for a couple reasons. For starters, I had really enjoyed doing my landscape piece in watercolor. I liked the loose and vibrant appearance of the colors and I thought watercolor would really help me portray the mood I desired.
I began with the background by blocking in the houses and the trees. I began to work on the figure. To start, I put in light washes of skin tone to define the figure from the dress. I then added the darker shades to her hair using a dry brush and put the details in the helmet. I was hesitant to start the dress because I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to capture the pattern in the material of the dress. I practices several techniques in my sketchbook and decided I would do a pink wash and then blot out small spots with a paper towel to represent the white flowers. I then went back in with an orange to do the centers of the daisies. I put details into the bike and the child's shoes and then I did a gray wash over the whole road. The gray ended up splitting into an uneven mix of blues and yellows after I had laid it on the paper, but I kind of like the texture this provides.
I did most of this piece in one day over break. I really enjoyed the continuity that painting this way provided. The most challenging part of this piece was figuring out how to create the pattern in the child's dress. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to match the hues, especially for the skin tone which I thought would be very challenging. I used an Archer's pad of paper for this piece, and I really liked the bigger tooth of the paper, as well as the fact that the paper didn't warp.