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Plastic Wrap Saved the Day

by Donald Cobb
(Shreveport, Louisiana, USA)

This watercolor measures 36x60 on elephant paper. I found an old black and white photo in a magazine of these Native Americans on their ponies years ago. After sketching this b&w photo recently I colorized it using a limited palette.

I brushed on the sky,Native Americans,horses and top of the hill. The foreground did not exist in the old photo, so I sketched what I called a washed out gulch to lead one to the subject. I dreaded painting the rocks, sticks, plants, etc. since I had taken so long painting the horses and figures on the top part of the painting. I wanted the foreground to look convincing, like a southwest landscape.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, why not create the textures of rocks, plants, etc. with plastic wrap. I used a limited palette again, same colors and it turned out pretty good I think and it took about 6 minutes to finish the bottom half of this painting.

Vist my website at Watercolors from Louisiana

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Mar 31, 2008
Plastic wrap
by: Mary Ann

Don,
I also have used plastic wrap as a "means to an end" in creating tree branches, rocks and other textures. It is important to paint back into the texture to disguise the use of the wrap, lest someone think they can use plastic wrap for an entire painting.
You did a nice job on this one. I am glad that you didn't totally copy the photo from a magazine. One must be really careful not to use someone else's design, as their work, especially when printed, is copyrighted.
Nice work.

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