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Quiet Time at the Lake (1/3)

Author: Carol Campbell (aka oleCC), Contributing Editor 


    Cobalt blue (or any blue you prefer for sky and water)
    Perm. Rose
    Sap Green
    Burnt Sienna or Transparent Red Oxide
    Burnt Umber
    Cadm. yellow pale or Cadm. yellow medium (your choice for the brighter foliage)
    Masking fluid (frisket)

Use whatever size brushes you are comfortable with. It is a good idea to use the largest brush you can manage for whatever subject you are painting. For pre-wetting, you can also use sponges, and those sponge brushes sold in paint stores for edging purposes.

The finished image shows up a little darker where I posted it in the watercolor forum - you can make it as dark or light as you prefer. Let's start with just a simple light pencil sketch that you can download if you like (clicking on the smaller image below will load a larger version that you can save and print out).

STEP 1: (after the sketch)

Tape your paper to your board evenly all around. This will cut down on any buckling and will also give your painting a neat edge. Keep some tissue handy and a piece of scrap paper for testing your colors. It is best to use scrap from the same paper as your painting.

Mix three separate puddles of : cobalt blue; yellow; pink. Test these colors to be sure they are deep enough for your finished sky colors. Watercolor dries lighter and looks darker in your pallet than on paper. When painting wet into wet, the finished color will be lighter than you expected unless you also test wet into wet.

Pre-wet the sky right down to the horizon line. You can blot colors out of the background trees with tissue if needed. No puddles please - try to wet the canvas evenly.

On the right side, brush in some of the blue; on the left side, brush in some of the pink. The middle area gets a touch of the yellow. I let the yellow blend a bit with the pink to give it a coral color. If your paper is still damp, you can lightly add some of your pink to the blue side for a light lavender. If your paper is dry and the color is not what you planned, re-wet and add more color now.

For your next step, you will need to mix some blue with sap green. You want to get a pale blue-green color (cool color) for the background trees. Also, mix some sap green with blue and a bit of burnt umber. We will use this in a darker value (see next page).

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