Next, I wash in the sky and shadows of the snow, carefully keeping the drawing in the foreground clean and dry. Keep in mind that the color is deeper at the top, and gets lighter toward the horizon line, along with a touch of blush tone above the ground and trees.
When the sky is starting to dry, and the paper shows a slight sheen of dampness, I sprinkle salt lightly over it.
As the paint finishes drying, the salt absorbs moisture, along with that, color. It makes a pretty snow speckled look.
I let dry completely and brush off salt before proceeding any further.
Here is where the watercolor cheating comes in, by adding white paint. (so I just call the painting, "mixed media") First, I paint in the bare branch trees, with faded browns and purples. Never deep or harsh or bright colors for a background, they have to look faded and distant.
I do save the white of the bare paper, as you should in watercolor, but I really like a touch of pure white over it for even more depth. I use white acrylic paint for snow and highlights.
Next, the foreground gets painted. When working with watercolors, the trick is in knowing that the color flows wherever the paper is wet. You have to be careful to paint small areas at a time, with drawings like this, and not do adjacent areas until the first section dries. So, I wet a segment, such as this part of the jacket, and drop in bright red. While still wet, I add darker red along the shadowed areas.
I would do the other side of the jacket, waiting for that to dry before painting the sleeve or belt, since they are right next to what I just painted. If I were to paint the belt right away, the red paint would run right into it, as well as some of the black flowing into the red, where that was still wet. Water pulls the color.
Black is always more interesting if you mix it yourself, using a dark brown and dark blue, never use black watercolor paint.
I take my finished paintings to a copy shop and have them shrunk down and printed four per page to make into Christmas cards.
The trick then is to get them signed and mailed.... I am afraid I didn't send a single Christmas card this year!! After all this work.
My husband works in the golf industry, so likes the club swinging Santa. I was more into puppies for this season. After Twinkle's nine babies in August, I thought a pup was a good theme for family cards. But once again, I didn't get these mailed either.
At least the cards got made. Maybe I can add hearts and call it a Valentine? No, I think I just missed the boat this season and am out of the time window to mail anything this Christmassy.