This is the fifth in a series of Watercolor "Rescue" posts, in which I take a previously done painting I'm not that happy with, and make changes and corrections to improve the overall feel and composition.
The subject is the Santa Ynez Mission, located at the border of Santa Ynez and Solvang, CA. The original scan is a bit warm and the building appears flat, because of lack of contrast in values. This is one of the first watercolors I did using a half sheet of Arches 140 lb CP paper.
I determined that the sky was OK and left that alone. So, I started by deepening the shadows on the building to give it more shape and depth, using a cobalt blue and u. m. violet mix. Mostly to define the right edge of the
building and under the roof overhangs. I didn't darken the bit of building further back, leaving some reflected light back in that area.
I added a more weathered look to the building, with streaks of raw and burnt sienna. I added cracks by darkening this mixture with cobalt blue. A added a touch of viridian green to the bells, to make them stand out a little more.
I added some light red and burnt sienna to the roof tiles and the paved entrance-way. I added darker lines to indicate the pavers at the entrance.
I then reworked the distant trees with darker values, giving them more shape. I darkened the trees on the upper right, to separate them from the ones below, to create some depth. I used various mixtures of sap green, u.m. blue and burnt sienna, with some cad. yellow highlights. I extended the overhead tree shape at top left, using a dark mixture of sap green u.m. blue and burnt sienna. I also added some darker values to the trees and bushes in front of the building, to give them a little more definition.
Lastly, I enlarged the foreground tree shadow shape, using cobalt blue and u.m. violet, to give a sense of the larger overhanging tree. I also strengthened the cast shadows on the front of the building.
I think these changes made a stronger painting and added more definition to the shapes overall.
Thanks for looking, and try some of these tips yourself.