In September I discovered Wendy Artin, an American living in Italy who does these amazing sepia watercolors of figures, nudes, buildings, etc. She does full color work too, but it was the sepia work that really inspired me. She had a wonderful ability to let the figure dissolve into light. She expressed a great deal of weight with a minimum of input on the page. Her stuff is very subtle, delicate. It looks so effortless and wet on the pages.
I decided to do a study of one of her nude figures in Artrage, just to see what I could accomplish digitally. That's what you're seeing below. I want to say this took 2.5 hours or so. Although digital watercolors have never quite captured the nuance of natural media to me, I found there was a lot to learn from working digitally, even as a person studying and painting with natural media. This was because doing it digitally really forced me to look and think about what makes watercolors really watercolors. And that sort of attentiveness to wet bleeds, or dry brush work, or wet into wet work, or paper grain and how different pigments granulate and separate from each other was very instructive. It's been an exercise well worth doing.