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Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Woman with a Wrapped Hat"

Woman with a Wrapped Hat,  20.5" X 28" watercolor by April M. Rimpo
Woman with a Wrapped Hat
watercolor, varnished, mounted and framed

"Woman with a Wrapped Hat" was selected by Paul Jackson for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's 33rd Juried Exhibition in 2012 ; was selected by judge Ratindra Das as recipient of the Excellence in Figurative award in The 29th National Exhibition 2013 of the Illinois Watercolor Society; and received the First Place award in the 45th Laurel Art Guild Juried Open. Thanks go to Lee Boynton who was the juror for the Laurel Art Guild exhibit. Below is a description of my inspiration and little about my painting process.

This woman from Santiago, Guatemala was rewrapping her hat which is made of a long belt about 15 feet in length.  This is a traditional hat in Santiago village, on Lake Atitlan.  She smiled for the camera then asked for a small payment, which I happily provided.  That smile and the colors in the hat cried out for me to paint them.  I wanted to emphasize the orange red color and use it throughout the painting as an integrating design element. As a result I decided to use a complementary color scheme primarily blue and orange with smaller hints of green. 

I love having very wet runs and drips in my paintings, since they are so specific to watercolor paintings.  In contrast to these passages are the hard edges I used in her face.  I added horizontal and vertical stripes which also contrast with the organic runs and the diagonal shapes formed by the woman's arms.

I start most of my paintings of people by doing an initial drawing on tracing paper.  When drawing people I frequently shade portions of the face to ensure the contour lines are properly placed.  I frequently make adjustment to the drawing as a result.  I then use a fine tipped marker to emphasize the contour lines that I will then transfer to the watercolor paper.  This photo is of the tracing paper drawing, which I hang in my studio for reference while I paint.  Although I always hang these up, I almost never refer to them, but like knowing they are there in case I need them. 

The other photo below (right) shows a color grid I use to select which pigments to combine to get the desired flesh color.  A long time ago I created this flesh color grid.  The grid shows mixtures of different reds with a set of different greens.  Each combination was about a 50/50 blend of the red and green.

To see available prints check my store.
Drawing on Tracing Paper by April M. Rimpo

Flesh color chart

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

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I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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