Kelp Forest

I drew several nearly full size sketches, some with 'cute' seals and jelly fish,
but ultimately decided that I just loved the dreamy quality of the kelp.

After I finished the design on newsprint, I scribbled graphite on the back of the paper to
create 'feaux carbon paper'.
I transfered the design to a block of 140# Arches cold pressed watercolor paper.

After the design was transfered it was pretty spotty, so I redrew all the lines with a #2 pencil.

I used Winsor & Newton resist to reserve the portion of the painting that would be oranges and golds. 
I taped off the paper so the area I would be painting was 1" bigger in each direction than the finished size.

I mixed large puddles of the blues, greens, and golds that I will use for the initial wash. 
I got the paper really wet, then mopped up the puddles.

Here is the first wash - very juicy and soft.

After the second layer of washes I removed the resist and mixed puddles of the colors for the next kelp.

I tested the colors together in the margin of the paper to ensure that they were harmonious
with each other and with the colors already on the paper.

Here I have finished all the watercolor painting and will begin adding pastel to give more
definition and interest to some of the kelp.

Here is the finished piece - the photograph doesn't do it justice, please come to the annual
fundraising dinner for Feiro Marine Center to see "Kelp Forest" in person.
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