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  • Jenny Davis


What drew me to this image were the deep shadows of the backlit figures and the quiet, contemplative mood of the scene. I wanted to try something a little different (for me) and keep this painting a little looser and "unfinished." I also used a lot of Indian red and perylene green, which are new colors for me.

a father holding his child
Shelter, 15"x8", watercolor

This is how you can tell if you've missed a spot when laying down a wash in watercolor. View the painting at an angle and the wet paint will shine.

My intention was to focus on the figures and have very little in the background, but I got carried away with color. The darker the shadows became, the more I wanted to see the context around them, and the more context I added... Well, it morphed into a little more detail and "finished" appearance than what I had envisioned. But I am happy with the result.

The image below is more or less how I'd originally intended the background to appear.

I did not use any masking fluid with this painting. To capture the fine hairs on the father's hand, I lifted paint using a very dry size 6 round brush. I also used a little lifting along the baby's chin and the father's jaw (to suggest stubble).

I'm especially happy with how the hair and ears turned out. And I love the grayish green of the baby's leggings (cadmium scarlet + perylene green). This painting is available - drop me a line if interested.

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