About a month ago I finished this painting:
I was asked by an online buyer if I was interested in recreating the scene on a wood cut-out. I loved the concept and felt it'd be a fun project to work on.
The first step was getting the shape right. I sketched an outline and asked a carpenter to trace and cut-out the piece from wood:
Once I had the cut-out, the next process was to make the surface suitable to paint on. This involved applying two layers of gesso followed by two layers of watercolor ground. Each layer was allowed to dry completely and smoothed with sandpaper before the next layer was applied.
The gesso layer creates a barrier between the wood and the paint. This barrier prevents the tannins in the wood from discoloring the paint. The layer of watercolor ground turns the wood into a paintable surface. Without that layer, the watercolour paint does not adhere nicely to the wood. I love the Daniel Smith brand of watercolour ground. I have a jar of titanium white that dries to the same color as my watercolour paper. I also have a jar of transparent watercolor ground in case I want the grain of the wood to show through.
After the prep work was complete, I traced on my drawing as I would at the start of any painting:
First layer of paint. I can't count how many times I’ve accidentally cleaned my brush in my cup of coffee. I’ve never drank my paint water though, so I’ve got that going for me.
Once I finished painting, I applied a couple layers of transparent acrylic gloss to protect the piece from UV light, moisture and smudging.
And the final product: