The Light shines in the darkness is one of my favorite scriptures and I wanted to paint a card for it. As you can see it was a process - the images are chronological - left to right. At first
I thought it would be best if the darks were gloomy and I didn't handle them very well - the scrubby texture is not intended and I don't like it at all.
Darks can be tricky in watercolor - I don't use black paint - many other watercolor artists don't either. Black paint tends to create a very stark effect which isn't always harmonious although it can be dramatic and effective. I usually mix 3 colors to get darks - winsor violet,
pthalo blue and burnt sienna. This will give me a wide range of dark blues, purples and greys depending on the exact mix . In the first painting I thought I wanted the greyer tones - to give a stark and stronger contrast for the light, but I wasn't happy with the painting. SO I left it alone for a while - which can be helpful.
The second time I painted it I used more blue and was much happier with the result. I was, in fact, quite satisfied with the second painting until one day I was looking at it on my phone.
I take photos of all my paintings and looking at those smaller phone images has been surprisingly useful. It was really annoying but I saw that the design would be better if I made the blue arc on the left go off the page to partially mirror the blue arc on the right. Soooo annoying because once I saw it I wasn't satisfied and knew I would have to paint it again!
Frustrating! but when I finished the third painting I was really pleased.