This has been a week full of doctor’s appointments, errands, family confusions and yada, yada, yada. What else is new! Anyway I didn’t accomplish as much as I hoped but as I watched the NCAA tourney I was able to start working on sketches for a new watercolor. I grew up on a farm and I have always admired the hard work and ethical behavior of the farmers I grew up with. My brother-in-law still farms and two of my son-in-laws have been farmers.
I see the same characteristics along with a level of stoicism and aloneness in cowboys. I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to paint a cowgirl waiting to begin her day. I had my granddaughter Elizabeth pose for digital photos that I thought I would use to get me started. Elizabeth has that long lean look I think of for a cowgirl (totally unlike her Grandmother). I had her hold a cup because I thought my cowgirl might be looking into the distance as she sipped her last cup of coffee early in the morning. Using newsprint and my Ebony pencil I began to work on sketches using slightly different poses and incorporating animals you might see on a farm or ranch.
I did many, many sketches starting simple, making minor changes to them all as I worked on the design.
After about an hour and a half of sketching I started to add value to the sketches. (HMMM… value or values…freudian slip?) So here is where I am at. After all that sketching I think I have decided that I have lost the focus on the cowgirl and will probably tighten up the composition, taking out many of the elements and cropping so only her upper body is shown. I think after I get the composition I am going to do a detailed drawing and then start some watercolor studies. With this painting I really want to use a fully developed process that might yield a better painting. This will be a first for me and I am trying to be patient and to focus on the purpose of each step of the process.
Here is the final sketch that I am still evaluating.