This is my latest watercolor on paper mounted on board, it is actually a new version of a painting I made a few months ago:“On either side of the River”
I wanted a larger version of it, mounted on board and also I wanted to try a different composition. I did mount my paper on board before starting to paint as this is the way I like the best but you could also mount your painting after it is done. For more details about my technique to mount paper on board, go to this post: Mounting watercolor paper on board.
Mounting paper on board: I am using big rocks (that I did cover with crochet) as weights as my paper was in a roll and needs to be flattened.
This is my painting palette for this watercolor painting. Daniel Smith: Burnt Umber, French Ochre and Payne’s Gray, Holbein Horizon Blue, Van Gogh Madder Lake Light and Phtalo Blue, Da Vinci Cadmium Lemon Yellow and Sap Green, Rembrandt Perm Lemon yellow.
I like the porcelain flowers trays to paint, I start by adding a bit of paint and then will fill the wells with water. I have a butcher tray but can’t usually resist the temptation of mixing colors directly on my table
Once my drawing has been transferred to my watercolor paper, the first step will be to reserve a few whites with masking fluid. I then have to wait for the masking fluid to dry as you can’t dry it with a hair dryer, it would make the fluid adhere strongly to the paper and become almost impossible to take off.
I then start to paint the leaves, sap green is my basic green color and I modify it by adding some yellow, blue, brown or gray depending on the tone of green I wish to obtain.
I am painting the leaves using a mix of wet in wet technique leaving soft edges and wet on dry techniques leaving hard edges.
Then I work on the background using my reference picture to decide what color to paint.
When I am done with most of the leaves and the background, I mask the leaves that are situated on the trees trunks so I can focus on painting the trunks without having to paint around them.
I then paint a first wash that correspond to the lighter tones I ca see on the trees trunks.
Then I start to paint the trees bark texture using a scrumbling painting technique.
My next step will be to splatter water all over the painting, but before that I am going to use some watercolor crayons to draw on some parts of the painting so that when I will add water, their water soluble pigments will move and hopefully make interesting textures.
On the trunks, I want to add a bit of lighter tones, so I am drawing with white pencils.
Time to splash! I used a spray bottle to get the who;e painting wet and then I also splatter some paint (blue and yellow) with a dropper.
I am also splattering with white china gouache diluted in water with a dropper.
After splashing, the painting looks like that, I decide that I need more contrast and darker colors on the trees trunks as they became too light with the splashing.
I start by removing the masking fluid, sometimes by pulling on it with my fingers, sometimes by using an eraser.
As I did mask the leaves on the trunks, their edges are showing a bit of white in some places so I am softening a few edges with water and a stiff brush, I am also adding some more darks on the trees trunks. Here is a picture of a before/after softening edges of a leaf.
Then I am scrubbing off a bit of paint with a stiff brush and some water where I want to lighten a bit the painting, mainly on the left side of the trunk as this is the direction the light is coming from.
Here is a selection of close-ups, click on any picture to see a larger version.
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