Back in the studio, it was time to do some designing: a painting is not just a copy of a photo. It was important to use the reference materials to capture the feeling of the garden as well as the view. In order to do justice to the garden, I decided to down play the view of the river and emphasize the sweep of flowers. There were also considerations such as the type of paper to use, the size it was going to be, and whether it would be horizontal or vertical.
The final sketch was done on a piece of white pastel paper that has a texture like sandpaper. The grit of the sanded paper allowed me to add many layers of pastel. For this project I decided to do a watercolor wash to reduce the stark white of the paper.
When the watercolor dried, it was time to add the pastel!