Most paintings (especially portraits and figurative paintings) benefit from a good preliminary drawing before you ever pick up a brush. The traditional way of doing this is to draw on your canvas using charcoal or graphite, and then paint over it—but today we’d like to show you an alternative method.
In the video below, Pat Weaver starts her preliminary drawing by putting down a medium-value wash over her entire painting surface. She then uses paper towels to “rub-out” or “lift” the paint, which creates areas of nearly pure white against the medium-value background.
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As you’ll see, Pat carefully studies her subject matter (a small puppy) in order to replicate the highlighted sections on the puppy’s head, nose, and body with her “lifted” areas. Once she’s finished lifting the paint, she goes back in with watercolor pencils for additional detail. Take a look: