Watercolour Landscape demonstration

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Only 2 colours are used: Ultramarine and Light Red
Ultramarine is a heavily granulating pigment. When ultramarine and light red are used together in a watery mix, the light red will migrate to the edges of the painted area giving a glowing effect.

Drawing board, 11" x 8" approx. Bockingford or Not 140 lb. paper, Wash brush or No. 14 Round , No. 6 Round, No.1 Rigger, Ultramarine, Light Red.


Read all the stages through before doing anything.
Painting size is 10.5" x 7" (27cm x 18cm)

1. Tape or fasten the paper to the board (Landscape format). It's not necessary to stretch paper of this weight at this size.
2. Draw a horizon line about 3" (7.5cm) from the bottom of the paper
3. Mix a pool of weak watery ultramarine, and a pool of darker, thicker blue grey mix of Light Red and Ultramarine. Make more than you need of both washes. When mixing washes don't over mix. You should still be able to see both colours in the pool of colour.

painting step

4. Starting at the top, using the wash brush, in horizontal strokes paint the wash of Ultramarine towards the horizon. If you get areas of wash where the paint breaks leaving streaks or sparkles of white paper this is 0K as it will add to the effect. As you get to about 1" of the horizon add a little Light Red to the Ultramarine. Continue to the bottom of the paper, changing back to a predominantly ultramarine colour at the bottom. Before the wash of Ultramarine dries, drop (rather than paint) in the clouds with the Light Red & Ultramarine mix letting the colour fuse into the sky. Vary the colour of the mix by adding more Light Red and/or Ultramarine. and feed these into the cloud areas where you think they should be. You may have to tilt or level the board to keep the paint where you want it. Don't poke about with the colour on the paper as this will produce mud, let the paint and the paper do the work. Don't be too prim applying the paint, it's better to get a loose effect rather than precise placement of colour. Make sure that when you add paint to the sky that the shine is still on the paper and that the brush is less wet than the paper Once the sky colours are in enjoy watching them merge together as they dry.

painting step

5. Paint in the hills with a medium strength blue/grey mix of Ultramarine & Light Red. Make the more distant hill lighter and bluer. Add further small amounts of Light Red to vary the colour as you paint particularly near the bottom of the hill. Drop in richer colour (less water) where shadow areas would be on the hills (Light coming from top Right) Try to leave a few paint enclosed spots of white paper at the bottom of the hills to suggest distant buildings. Leave to dry.

painting step

6. Gently wet the water area leaving a narrow dry area under the hills. Drop in hill colours to suggest reflections roughly following the mirror shape of the hills. Don't be too concerned about the exact shape as it's an impression. Leave to dry

painting step

7. Paint in the foreground land and rocks with medium to dark Red/Grey mixtures of Ultramarine & Light Red varying the colours as you go. Avoid the mooring post and rope. Leave to dry.

painting step

8. Using the rigger, paint in the boat and figure (have a few practice doodles of this on a spare piece of paper so that you are confident before committing to the painting.(see below)

9. Paint in a mirror reflection of the boat and figure

10. Use the rigger to add mooring post and ropes (see below)

11. Add cloud reflections to the water with the No. 6 brush and the rigger to add water ripples in the foreground using light mixes of both colours. Soften edges of cloud shadow with a damp brush before the area dries.

doodle  doodle  doodle

Boat doodles, Mooring post & boat detail

The paintings and text are Peter Saw and shall not be reproduced without permission.
The paintings and text may be used to assist your own painting practice only for the purpose of  self education.
Peter Saw asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
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