Watercolor on Gesso is a process of painting the middle value all over the paper, wiping off paint for the white or light areas, and adding darker colors for the darkest value.
Gesso over Arches 140# paper is the foundation for my last two paintings. Painting on gesso seems a challenge for me, the paint doesn't want to stick and I have a tendency to add too much water which doesn't help. This example is my second attempt at this background. One thing nice about the whole process is that if it isn't what you want...washing it off proves to be easy. Just start over. I don't hesitate if its not what I want.
After the first layer of color is very dry... you add your drawing. Either draw directly on top of the color layer or trace it over a light table. I have done it both ways, it all depends on the subject and your comfort level. Flowers proved to be easier to draw direct.
This is part of the first attempt. The whole painting seemed to paint itself. Those are the best kind.
It started out when I printed the photo my printer was running out of color and white areas showed which was my inspiration. I enjoyed this process so much, it reminded me of a process done with ebony pencil and a kneaded eraser. Basically the same process just a different medium.
There is a trick to adding color back to areas that you mistakenly took off color. I was getting pretty good at adding medium value by the end of this process.