A two color study painting I made last night with acrylics on sketch paper. The reference photo is from Paint my Photo, here.
The actual paper in this sketchpad is about 11″ x 14″ and is the same pad that I used for the last Draw a Bird Day, as well as the same 1″ flat brush used for everything. As before, I first covered a large patch of the paper with grey paint, this time mixed with white, and then after that used white and two premixed colors. The blue is about 1:1 ultramarine and ivory black, and the brown is the same mix of burnt sienna and ivory black. I was worried that without the black addition it would be too chromatic, but instead it’s much more grey than the reference photo so maybe next time less black will be mixed in.
Because this is only sketch paper it buckles and wrinkles a lot soon after the wet paint first touches it, but if you ignore that and keep working it mostly settles back down. The layers of paint eventually form enough of a barrier that additional wet paint doesn’t affect the paper much. While painting I kept the sheet in the paper pad to give it a hard backing for support and propped it up on a table top easel next to my computer.
The back and forth process of quickly building up colors and indications of shapes until they become increasingly recognizable seems to work well. The more defined the shapes become the slower and more deliberate the brushwork needs to be, but the focus at the start isn’t on the fine details. What’s important in this process is just getting something onto the paper so it can then be adjusted as needed.