"On the Trail" watercolor: 12"H x 13"W

I liked the pose of this subject in that it draws the viewer quietly into the scene wondering just what it is that the cowboy is looking at.  This was drawn freehand with a standard #2 pencil from a reference photo and painted with watercolor in about 3 hours.  I find painting a little faster helps keep things fresh and keeps me from regressing back to overworking a piece.  It's a constant battle.

The underside of the hat, the hair, face, mustache and a good portion of the orange shirt involved a fairly heavy dose of wet-in-wet painting.  A little scary at the time but I almost stopped soon enough to make it work at least to my immediate satisfaction.  The surprise came with how the contrasting colors remained separate with very little on-paper mixing taking place under wet-in-wet conditions.  I attribute that with having the proper amount of pigment on the brush with just the right amount of water.  That's a difficult combination to achieve with this medium.  It too is a constant battle that is seldom won.

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