"Variegated thoughts are running through my mind." Today is the final for this piece. In the first draft, I began two pieces and posted one of them yesterday, but did not like the outcome. So today, you are viewing the second one of those pieces which has become the final.
The advantage of working on two similar pieces at the same time...especially with watercolor is that you have an extra one available in case the first one got overworked. I observed both pieces from a distance during the course of the day and decided to leave this one and not put all of the leaf detail in place. It is simply a suggestion of the leaves and by stopping before I thought I was finished, I managed to capture the luminosity.
And this is the trick with watercolor in particular. It also provides shapes you might not have imagined in the final. So my big "take away" by working on two pieces is to have both of them in front of me to compare and contrast. It's an exciting way to work.
In this piece, I also have minimal glazing. Not more than three glazes over any of the leaves. Also notice that I left the edge of the previous layer showing which gives it depth. The two gray spots in the background were created in the very first wash by slinging a slightly darker value over the piece with the brush. One "sling" is quite sufficient. If you do too much of any technique...(i.e.....saran wrap...bubble wrap...or splattering)....and the viewer notices the technique more than the overall piece, it will look contrived. In this case, "less is more".
If you are a lettering artist and you want to have some subtle or soft lettering, use a very sharp pencil (sharpened on a sandpaper block) and write on the piece before spraying with acrylic spray coating or varnish. If you don't, the spray could create a resist and not receive the graphite. If you choose gouache....the paper will need to be sprayed (3x) with spray acrylic coating and then prepared for lettering.
Watercolor is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating mediums to work with, but does require some perseverance and close observation to what is happening between pigment, water, and the wetness or dryness of the the paper. Most of the leaf glazes in this piece were applied with a brush with most of the water squeezed out and then dipped into a "juicy" puddle of pigment and water.
After making one pass over the desired area....I banged my mop brush in the water container to remove most of the pigment ran the brush over a sponge and then quickly softened the right edge with water only. This gives the desire "lost edge" effect and also helps with luminosity and a balance between hard and soft edges. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.