Wet Japanese Street with Bicycle 

OK. Here we go. This time, some ‘method’. Method that I am making up – to make up for having no idea how to proceed. I’ll document the process; and I start by finding a photo that I like, in this case by searching Google Image for a wet street scene. I find this:

So far so good. Now. Here’s something that’s either really stupid or really clever. To get some ideas on how to paint this, I run it through the Prisma:Gothic filter on my iPhone. Hopefully in future I’ll have my own idea, maybe lots of ideas, for expressing this picture in brush strokes. For now I’ll use this computer generated impression as my guide:

To be honest, you might as well frame that and hang it. It’s great! But I won’t. I’m now going to paint these recognisable blocks of colour using watercolour paint, and brushes, and water!

I’m happy with the yellow / purple scheme that was randomly applied by the Gothic filter. Let’s go with it!

I start by drawing pencil outlines onto a good sized sheet of quality watercolour paper 25x35cm. It’s already been soaked and taped to a piece of hardboard. I draw by eye – no tracing – and start with the palest colour, yellow. Using Lamp Yellow for everything except the lamps!

This may take a day or two to finish. 

I try my new Watercolour Markers to get the focal foreground detail – of the bicycle:

I’m impatient to see if the dark colours will work, and to be braver and darker with the dark now that I’ve seen colours always drying lighter. So I’m trying to add darks over lights, but don’t really have a proper plan for the ‘page process’. I’m skipping about doing ‘colour by numbers’ and trying things out…

As the final layers go on, it feels more like ‘sculpting’ as I’m trying to give things depth and texture. Reflections and shadows are added rather than mere colour. 

As an experiment I finally returned to Prisma, the iPhone App and added a 50% Gothic filter. I’m frustrated that I can’t get that look with brushes, but I think the look that I’m looking at might be an oil paint look, rather than a watercolour look?

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