Lessons from Painting Carol in Fire

carol in fire - 2017 - all
Eduardo Suré; Carol in Fire, 2017; Watercolor
My goal for the Carol in Fire project was to provide an illustration in a comic book style. I wanted it to show action. I also wanted it to evoke a feeling of discomfort from wanting the person to get out of the environment.

I started painting by adding flat areas of color. That allowed me to paint until the colors had the values I wanted. I also felt like that approach gave me better control over my progress.

Things started to go wrong when I tried to deviate from the lines I had drawn for flames and smoke. I should have used the sketch to plan the locations of fire and smoke, but should not have drawn them on the watercolor paper. I should have only created them with the brush. In the end, I painted too much fire to cover lines I couldn’t erase. I also ended up cropping out the smoke to balance the painting.

I didn’t get the light around the subject right. I was not sure what to do about shadows when light surrounded the subject. I tried lighting up a model using lamps, but didn’t use it effectively. This is something I need to learn to do.

I must have been distracted when I was painting. I forgot to add details to Carol’s hands. I also noticed that I painted the jewel and her eyes the wrong color when I was uploading the image: I had to do a last minute digital edit.

In the end, I didn’t feel that I achieved my goals for this painting. Carol doesn’t look like she’s worried about getting out of the fire. She just looks like she’s taking a naked jog through it.


5 thoughts on “Lessons from Painting Carol in Fire

      1. I create a structural drawing with graphite (just an HB pencil). Next, I paint with watercolor (just brushes, water, and paint). Last, I scan the painting using a home office scanner. I do crop to 3:2 and 16:9 using software, but I don’t alter the scanned image – even if the colors aren’t accurate. For this story, I did use software to “paint” the blue stone green.


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