Watercolor Step-By-Step with Carrie Waller

by Paint Tube 2 Minutes

Watercolor Step-By-Step with Carrie Waller

This week our interview is with Carrie Waller, and when she offered to show us a behind-the-scenes look at her incredible process, we definitely said yes. Below, Carrie walks us through her painting "Incandescent." 


I start my process by transferring my drawing onto 156 lb Arches, cold-pressed paper.  I try to minimize the amount of graphite that is on my paper but will shade in some of the shadow areas to help me navigate my drawing while I’m painting.  I start on the right side of my paper and paint one area at a time to completion. This process allows me to establish my values form the beginning. I have masked out my highlights.  At the moment my favorite masking fluid is Incredible White Mask. I use a #4 round paintbrush.


Light bulbs are so much fun to paint because there are so many parts and pieces and the glass distorts the bulb behind it creating lots of fun abstractions.  I am using a palette of Daniel Smith paints for this painting. Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Ultramarine Blue, Payne’s Gray, Cobalt Teal Blue, Quinopthalone Yellow, Carbazole Violet, Pyrrol Orange, Undersea Green, Perylene Red, Indigo and Sepia.



I used reveal light bulbs in this set-up and when saturated they make a beautiful purple pop in the composition.  This composition is an example of using the golden ratio. The curves of the bulbs draw you around the composition leading you to the bulb in the front.



In this step below you can see that I am getting close to completing the painting.  A complementary color scheme is utilized in this painting to create interest as well.  I use a wet on wet techniques in the larger areas so that colors mingle together. I do all of my color blending on the paper by dropping in colors that I want to mix.  Wet on dry techniques are used as well for details.



Below is the completed painting.  I do have some lost edges here and there for visual interest.  This painting took 2.5 weeks to complete. This was the second light bulb painting I completed in the series.  I really liked the angle of this composition you are really looking into the bulbs and checking out all the details.  Some challenges in this painting were making sure that all the pieces and colors lined up correctly. I really had to step back and take a look to make sure that the reflections and bulbs that are behind were lining up since there was so much overlapping.


Learn more about artist Carrie Waller at her website, on Facebook, and on Instagram.