Friday, June 5, 2009

How to paint a watercolor landscape painting - step by step

Here is a painting demonstration, step by step. This is all watercolor, except the white tree trunks, which is acrylic.

This stage is just background, be real loose with it. You are going to paint over it anyway


The road is already finished. I used three different values/colors for the road, from to back. I put them on wet and let them blend together. When it was pretty much dry, I painted the dark tire tracks in the light area (dark against light). In the foreground where the road was dark, I used a damp brush and lifted the lighter area out(Light against dark). When I painted the dark area of the road I continued with that color along the back edge off the road, creating a shadow where the road and the grass meet.


When you paint trees, think of them as having 4 parts. They have a top and a bottom, a back and a front. The back is darker than the front. The top is lighter than the bottom. You can see on the trees on the left, that I am starting to make the bottom of the trees darker. This will set them down, (attach them to the ground) and give them weight.


I have added some even darker, redder foilage. I have continued to make the bottoms of the trees even darker. Notice the really dark bush on the left. I put it there, to contrast against the light road (dark against light).


It looks like I did a lot in this step, but I didn't really do that much . The final details just really bring it to life. I added the orange and white tree trunks. A brighter orange against the dark trees (light against dark). White tree trunks against a darker green value(light against dark). Are you seeing a pattern here? Some brighter green bushes against the dark base of the trees (light against dark). Finally with a fan brush, some dark grass textures (dark against light)


Now that we are done, I would like you to pay special attention to the road. I painted the road in step 2. I didn't do anything to the road in the subsequent steps. Notice the Light area in the road. Notice in each step, as I add dark values the light area appears to get lighter. This illustrates the importance of making your dark areas really dark. The darker the darkness, the brighter the light.

There you go, a piece of cake!

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