In the December 2010 Issue of Watercolor Artist, Kris Parins shows you how to use Photoshop to prepare a reference image. These 14 steps show in detail how she painted her piece, Let the Good Times Roll, starting with pours.
1. I started with a preliminary pencil drawing on tracing paper.
2. I taped a clean sheet of tracing paper over the drawing, and placed a sheet of graphite transfer paper against the watercolor paper. Using a sharp pencil, I transferred the outlines of the white areas to the watercolor paper.
3. I transferred only the whites from the drawing to the watercolor paper.
4. I masked the whites with masking fluid; this brand (Pebeo) is blue-gray in color.
5. I wet the watercolor paper with water from a spray bottle. I then poured the pre-liquified yellow paint into the warmest areas of the scene.
6. While the painting was still wet from the yellow pour, I poured red in, and then blue around the edges.
7. When the first value pour was dry, I transferred the outline of the next value to the painting surface, using graphite transfer paper and a sharp red pencil.
8. I removed the tracing paper; the next value can be seen outlined on the painting in graphite.
9. After the second masking dried, I poured yellow, red and blue to create a darker value.
10. I outlined a still darker value and transferred it to the painting, this time using a blue pencil.
11. Next, I applied masking to the outlines of the next value I wanted to save.
12. I poured the final and darkest value using only French Ultramarine Blue with some red spatter.
13. After the painting was thoroughly dry, I removed the masking using a rubber cement pick-up.
14. I added the final details using a brush, taking care to maintain the same flat quality of color already created by the pouring technique.
Let the Good Times Roll (watercolor on paper, 20×14)