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Artist Community

Written by Joanne Gervais
One of the difficulties in life drawing is the time factor. Models can only pose for a limited time. Sometimes a model can return as often as an artist needs in order to complete a work. Other times, an artist can take photos to use as reference for finishing a work. To help overcome this limitation, it is useful to prepare the background on the canvas or paper prior to beginning the work on the actual pose.

In the work "Someone's Child" a full size sheet of watercolor paper (I prefer 200lbs. Waterford Saunders) was covered with broad, loose strokes of color. The paper was saturated with deep patches of watercolor, which were then scraped back with a palette knife. This created a finished background before the pose was even set up. This also provided a unified base of color throughout the work. This approach helps get over "putting the first stroke on a bright white ground staring back at the artist!!" prior to beginning a new work!!"