A colorful Florida streetscape

This kind of shows the progression of how I do my artwork. I first make a rough pencil sketch with not an over amount of detail. I usually start the pen and ink with the landscaping first since it frames the buildings front and back, and then move on to the windows. I will add a little more pencil detail as I need it, but never put too much on, as I feel it can overwhelm the flow of the portrait. I find that then it can become too harsh and linear and overwhelm softer effect that the color supplies.

As in the pen and ink stage, I like to start with the foliage when I add color – whether it be pastel, colored pencil, or watercolor. I lay appropriate background colors and build from there. Often I will add a little more definition with the ink. Finally, I spray with a permanent fixative. Many artists don’t like to use a fixative, but I do. I love the way the colors all pop and since I have been doing this so many years, I can predict where the color will be deepened and enriched. So pretty and I know the portrait is protected. Hope you like this, too. I do.

The pencil sketch

The pen and ink with a little color started

The finished product

New series of artwork

I have decided to start a series of new drawings.  I enjoyed doing the southern streetscape with the colorful buildings and evidently, so do my viewers on etsy.  I have started another one and pulled several pictures of streetscapes with vividly colored storefronts from my backlog of trip photos.  There should be enough for 3 or 4 more pieces without any more thoughts on it.  I find it is easier to get into a flow if the planning is already there and I don’t have to make so many decisions between projects. 

I also pulled some animal pictures to intersperse drawing between the buildings to keep it all fresh.  Besides, my husband likes the animal ones.  I think I will alternate a few of the loose watercolor/pen and ink ones (like below) just because they are fun and mentally freeing. 

I have taken pictures of the initial pencil drawing and then the pen and ink overlay already.  I plan on taking a few shots of the overlay in progress and will post them when I have finished so everyone can see the progression.  I like to take about a day between each phase to let me have a different perspective of the work.  Sometimes I get so involved with the process, it is valuable to step back and look at it with fresh eyes.  A few days after I think I’m done, I look at the artwork again and tweak it if necessary.  One has to know when to stop tweaking, though.  That is often a big decision in and of itself.  If the football games ar crummy today, I will end up back in the studio early.