View Full Version : Ship Painting - Step by Step!

05-10-2004, 04:00 PM
I've never done anything like this, but I thought I'd try to document the various steps in the way I produce a painting.

I found this a bit difficult, stopping every so often to photograph, then re-starting, but I hope some of you find it interesting!

Step 1 - Sketching

I don't always sketch the outlines of a painting. It depends on the subject (and the frame of mind!). The sketch at least helps to get the proportions right - but , as you'll see later, you might end up cropping!
The paper is my favorite - Favini - but (for me) a huge size! 70 x 50 cm!


Step 2 - Masking Fluid

Again, this is not a "must" but it seems you can't go wrong by using masking fluid, since you can always paint over the whites! However, using it does affect the painting process - you have to stop and rub it off before continuing. Each must decide for him/herself.


Step 3 - Painting the background and main areas of the ship, on top of the masking fluid.


Step 4 - more detail ... masking fluid removed (I think! :) )


Step 5 - more or less finished, but I thought it needed cropping so ...


Step 6 - cropped!


It's a bit difficult getting all the steps/photos in sequence, but I hope you get the general idea.

I must add, this is only one method I use. I don't like to stick to a set routine. Masking fluid is NOT the universal solution. Also, I quite often sketch in soluble ink (or add ink to the pencil sketch). It all depends ....


05-10-2004, 04:05 PM
Oh - BTW, you'll find the original photo here :


(Note - I obtained permission from this website owner to use the photos!)

Marty C
05-10-2004, 07:57 PM
Hi Peter,
Thanks for the watercolour demonstration. I use acrylics, very different from watercolour in some aspects and very similar in others, so it was interesting to see the process you went through. Great result, the sea in this one is particularly good and the wave breaking over the ship is very well done. Thanks again.

05-11-2004, 12:11 AM
PETER Thank you very much for this wip!!!

This is very imformative and so very kind of you to do it for us.

It IS hard to stop and photograph a watercolour in progress, so I really do appreciate it!!

I am in a slump at present, but I am hoping to get my brushes wet again soon, and I will give your technigue a try..:)

Did you put a wash over your paper before you drew the sketch???

Which blue did you use????

05-11-2004, 12:50 AM
Thanks Marty!

Yes, you can use acrylics almost like watercolour when thinned down. I don't use them much but when I do, they go on pretty thick!

Thanks JJ!

No, I didn't apply a blue wash. The blueness in the second photo was due to the camera (I also modified the colour to show up the masking fluid).
I used mainly Prussian Blue - but with many other additions, particularly Payne's grey.

Don't worry about the slump - happens to all of us!

05-11-2004, 01:26 AM
Thanks Peter.. Hmmmmm I don't use paynes Grey, but I do use Natural Tint. Are they pretty much the same???

05-11-2004, 03:22 AM
Hi Peter,
Thanks for the watercolour demonstration. It really helps for a beginner as me to learn different ways of painting. As mentioned before I like your loose style and I hope we will se more demonstrations from you in the near future
Nice painting

05-11-2004, 12:15 PM
Sorry JJ - don't know "natural tint". I'm pretty ignorant about paint names (but I know what I like! :D )

Thanks Tom!
This is the first time I've tried a WIP. Pleased you found it useful.
Here's a better photo of the final version ..


05-11-2004, 07:37 PM
:D I should have said Neutral Tint..

Your finisshed painting is just the best .......as always........:)

05-12-2004, 12:31 AM
Ah! NEUTRAL tint !

Don't know that one either! :D

05-12-2004, 01:45 AM
Ah! NEUTRAL tint !

Don't know that one either! :D

It is a bit darker than Paynes Grey I think, and not as blue.. http://www.artsupplysource.com/directory.cfm?CategoryID=179

A gorgeous colour for getting darks..;)