A Watercolor in Three Acts

My family and I visited the Conestoga House and gardens last week, where I snapped this photo.

I really liked it, so I decided to turn it into a watercolor painting.

Conestoga House

After doing a few color samples, I chose a palette of Winsor Lemon, Cobalt Blue, Permanent Red and Perylene Green. Then I did this study in my art journal:

Watercolor Study

The results weren't terrible, but my husband has some Picasso thing going on with his profile, and my son has a weird double chin. I decided to try again, this time without the black pen.

This time, I pulled the photo up in Waterlogue. It's a fun app that turns your photos into watercolor paintings, and it helps me to visualize my finished work in different watercolor styles.

Waterlogue App Comparisons

After doing the watercolor study and running the photo through the Waterlogue app, I had a better idea of how I wanted the finished painting to look. But I still struggled. My values were too light, and it looked like my husband and son were floating in air. Finally I took the painting over to my mom's house and asked her to help.

I really wish I had taken a before-mom and after-mom photo, so you could appreciate the difference she made. I'm still not sure I could recreate the effect she achieved on the gray wall. (See how it glows with color?) And her idea to shape the shadow like that to create the illusion of brick was brilliant!

Finished Watercolor Painting

The finished painting is a collaborative effort, but I'm pretty happy with it and I learned a lot.