View Full Version : Golden Gate Bridge

07-25-2013, 04:13 PM
I have been away from this forum for a long time...I started out in the Sketch section as I wanted to learn to draw...I have graduated to watercolor and have fallen in love with the medium. Although at times is frustrates me to no end. This particular painting my co-worker wanted me to paint and it has been the most difficult one I have ever done. I started out doing it on a 2.5 x 3.5 ATC which came out nice. But doing the 12 x 17 was a nightmare. My trouble was keeping the paper wet long enough to let the paint do its thing. I would really appreciate any advice, critique or suggestions. Should I have used a larger paint brush. I didn't have any masking fluid and it was so difficult to get the sky in between the pillars.800578

07-26-2013, 04:37 AM
Hi Laurie, I think you are going to love working in watercolor. This is a very nice painting. I certainly hope you were not using a brush suitable for ATC on this size paper. A 1-inch flat would work wonderful for a wet-n-wet sky and water and medium size round pointed on other areas. I never use masking and paint around the areas when needed. Criticism? Perhaps the shore line should be straight. And, maybe a hint of yellow in right hills. Love your palette.

07-26-2013, 07:06 AM
Welcome to the forum.

Well done for a 5x7, you will find working a little latger easier. The rule is use the largest brush possible, it makes applying smooth washes easier.

Check out the Watercolour linkks in my signature for great tutorials and demos.


07-26-2013, 09:11 AM
Doug, thank you for the advise, I will take a look at your links...I want to really move forward with watercolor painting as it really brings me joy when I can feel good about something I have done and frustration when it isn't what I expected. But with each painting I learn something new.:thumbsup:

Jan, thank you for your insight, I used a medium pointed brush and was really disappointed how it wouldn't spread like I wanted it to. You are right I should have made the shore line straight even though it wasn't in the reference picture I used. I guess it is because I started out using graphic pencil sketches that required precision and watercolor is a lot looser and you don't have to be so exact. :D

07-26-2013, 09:15 AM
Hi Laurie,
Your painting of the Golden Gate Bridge is very nice.

A couple of tips for future paintings...think of the picture as three planes from front to back...foreground, middle ground, and background.

Foreground usually has the strongest color and most detail since it is closest to us; middle ground has slightly less of each as it is moving farther away; and background has the least because it is in the distance.

In your painting, the hills which are farther away than the bridge still are the same in value and detail. That is making them compete with the bridge for attention which you probably don't want. Perhaps a brush of clear water over them and a pat with a paper towel to lift a bit of the color might work to push them back a bit.

The more you paint with watercolors, the easier it will become as you learn how it reacts to water and brushes, etc. So keep on painting and yes, use the largest brushes you can to put in the first washes. Save the small brushes for finishing details. ;)


07-26-2013, 11:14 AM
Thank you Sylvia, I never thought of that...I will try to subdue the farther back with the landscape. I guess this is why art is so good for me...I will never stop learning something new.

07-27-2013, 12:22 AM
Watercolor will *always* teach you something new. Just when you think you have it all figured out, it'll throw you off guard again. That's half the fun! Welcome to the wonderful world of fluid dynamics :)

Agree with what's been said, especially that this is a fine painting and a great start. For wetness, you can wash over the area you're going to paint with plain water first, then come back with juicy paint and the dampness will last longer. Only wet the areas you plan to paint right then, and that way the edges will stay crisp (for example in the sky-spaces on the bridge).

Big brushes always recommended! A good one will make a very fine point that lets you into tiny corners without having to reach for a tiny brush. I'll recommend the Princeton Neptune brushes if you don't already have a good one. I just got a #10 round at Michael's for under $20, and it points like a dream.

07-27-2013, 01:16 AM
Thank you so much Cyntada, advise. I have a #10 round that came with a starter watercolor set. I will pick up a new one and look for some larger brushes. It sure feels good to be back!

Roz Barron
07-31-2013, 11:34 AM
Very nice. I like how you blended the yellow into the sky.