I’ve started sketching on the actual watercolor paper, and found that more thought is needed. The basilisk is well under way, but I find that the corners of the picture area are too distant. They need to be filled with something that won’t distract from the main subjects, but allows the frogs to be a bit closer in toward the center. I believe that vines might do the trick. They can form a sinuous, undulating border around the painting’s edge, and can do some twisting and turning in the corners. The frogs can be positioned on the vine, which gives them a base, too. The 4 corner frogs will be a bit closer in, since the vines can be arranged to take up more room in the corners. I’ll do the orchids last, when I see exactly how much space needs to be filled between the basilisk in the center and the frogs on vines around the outside.
I’m changing the details of which frogs to use and where they will go once again. I always do the final designing on the watercolor paper itself, no matter how many preliminary sketches I do.