I had the little drawing of my original idea somewhere with the bed on the wood background and the infant baby in the middle of it. I loved how the water colour paint with a lot of water added to it, looked over the wood.
So although I had a piece of birch wood ply which I was going to do the painting on - I couldn't actually scan that into the computer so I thought the best thing to do would be to get hold of some images of sheet wood from the web and make those into a similar colour of wood and as best as I could of comparable or similar wood grain. Then I made some of these about 4 in the end, into 60 x 60 cm files at 100 dpi - otherwise my computer wouldn't be able to cope with the size of the file and these were only for working out my ideas further in any event.
Anyway so I started fiddling about with my curve tools in Photoshop (one of my favourite tools) and so as to get an idea as to how I would 'insinuate' a sense of physical/emotional space but without being too descriptive or caught up in details.
Then I thought of this painting by Van Gogh which had people playing pool in a cafe with these lights hanging from the ceiling - I had always liked those lights so I eventually found it. I searched around the net and eventually found something similar, did a drawing and adapted the lamps appearance.
I have always been a fan of Van Gogh, love his drawings and often referred students to those when I was teaching drawing.
I tried adding a kind of dry-brush effect tool on the 'surface of the bed with translucent white to indicate depth and though I will go for that on the wood itself. Tried out whether to have the wall on the right hand side behind the bed, as it were, dark by curving it down or would it be better to have that light?
Then I kind of went off on a tangent wondering if in fact the image itself was just too 'stark' .........but then thought better of it. What the heck ...........I like it.......the preciousness of the individual being, the fragility, the essentially solitary nature of existence.....and so on. I did like the transparent overlapping of the layers and thought................ hey I might go back to that sometime.
Anyway............,,,,,,,,,,,,,, so I think I settled on the idea of having that back wall dark in the end.
I forgot to mention that I had been thinking about how I might have the infant image with a strong white base to draw on. That I might use my Stabilo Carbothello water soluble, pastel pencils. They really are the best and most versatile pencils ....I really love those.
Well I though I suppose I could paint white acrylic gesso onto the wood - I mean I have some somewhere here in my studio.
Then, I cant quite remember where -- but I became aware of a product called "watercolour ground".
And I though mmmhhh what's that about ......so I checked it out on the web. There wasn't a huge amount of information around, I mean that was based on artists experiences of using it....... that is until I came across this post by Toni Kelly
In her very helpful post, she shows you how she used it on a hardback sketchbook cover, some metal light switch panels and finally some Lhotka paper. Seemed pretty good so I ordered some.
It definitely has a unique quality that would enable exploiting the reticulational characteristics of watercolour washes. It feels beautifully velvety.....mmmmmhhhh...!!!!
Heres me trying out how I'd paint the infant image and the hanging lamp/ This was the second version same size as it was going to be on the final painting on the wood.