This week I am trying a system suggested by Duane Wakeham - one of my all-time favorite artists.
This is a half sheet of Arches cold pressed 300# watercolor paper. I have applied 2 coats of gesso with pumice and then tinted the surface with some oil paint diluted with turpentine. Next time I will tint with either watercolor or acrylic, this took a long time to dry and it's stinky!
I have blocked in the initial shapes with Nupastel. Notice the ghost swans in the foreground - though they were initially intended to be the subject of the painting, I just couldn't bring myself to include them....they mess up the reflections with all their paddling around...maybe I'll try painting them again later.
I have washed the Nupastel with alcohol to create a loose underpainting. Next time I think I will underpaint with the darkest color in a given area, for instance I might underpaint the cattails on the left with a dark green brown.
Finally I changed to soft pastels for the greater range of colors and values. I like this step by step process and more to the point I like documenting it with the camera....that way I am not tempted to 'wing it' and get myself lost in the process. I may not be finished with this painting, I will take another look at it with 'fresh eyes' in a few days.