Okay, I finally have a few progress photos of the palm tree to show you. You can see my sketch book on the right, my reference photo at the top, my masking fluid on the top right, and a small pencil. At this point I have created a drawing in my sketchbook. I then trace the loose sketch create a value study in only three or four values. I do this with a set of black and gray markers. I use the white of the paper to indicate the lightest values.
This value study will help me to determine where to mask areas before color is added.
These preparatory steps take some time, but the extra time is worth it with the beautiful end results that I can achieve!
Once I have these steps completed I enlarge the value study and use graphite to trace it onto my full sheet of watercolor paper.
Because I will be painting very wet, I use two inch masking tape to secure my paper to a foam core board. This will help to keep it relatively flat while painting and it will pull it flat again as it dries.
More to come soon on this painting...