Shoreline Reverie: 19×13 Watercolor.
A woman seated on an Algoma, WI bench on the shores of Lake Michigan.
How did I get from that to the finished painting and why did I make those changes?
The figure is too isolated and distant. I want to zoom in on the person, emphasizing the figure compared to the landscape. I also want to have some overlapping shapes. Here is a sketch where her head is against the distant tree line.
This also creates a contrast between the dark green of the trees and the light hair.
I tried out some possible color combinations in preparation of making a small preliminary painting. (These colors can be seen at the top of the paper.) The initial painting allows me to try out both colors, check the composition and try out techniques. Most interesting, the color scheme changed somewhat with the inclusion of a fair amount of yellow ochre (a yellow brown).
Armed with this small painting, I could see I liked the main composition but it showed that I had a problem in the proportions of the body, specifically the legs.
Being more careful with the under drawing, I proceeded with the full size painting. Overall I was able to use richer colors and increase the contrasts.