My contributions to the Non GP Art Thread have been more spaced out lately, because I've been dealing with this project for the last month or so. If you follow my blog, you have seen some of the photos along the way, if you don't you can check the blog here.
The respectable people at Gallery 1988 aligned with Daniel Danger, and he ended up curating the upcoming exhibition Devil Town, which called for large-scale paintings and prints directly or indirectly influenced by Daniel Johnston's lyrics. I can't speak for the other artists (who by the sounds of it have come up with incredible works), but I chose to focus a piece on Mechanicsville. An old, small town in Iowa that shares the name with several other towns across the country, which have been embellished into the American Landscape.
The piece was done in watercolor, on a treated birch panel.
I don't usually start paintings like this in a sketchbook, but I was working about 3x larger than normal for this piece. The idea was to establish or assign value generate the idea of an aerial perspective of the town.
I did a prelim structure on the treated surface in graphite. I then obliterated most of it, working some of that graphite into the base, which dirtied the white. I didn't want to get too rigid with the linework, so the staggering/layering helped loosen the appearance.
Instead of my gradual layering, I went super heavy outright in some areas, and softened it up/simplified other areas for a little contrast. The idea was for an all-over aesthetic, not so much concerned with a hierarchy.
While visual hierarchy wasn't the primary idea, I didn't want to coat the whole panel in 1/8" cubes of individual colors. Some panels of color focus on size and color depth, where other areas focus on smaller detail inspired by architectural forms.