Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lesson #28 Painting a Watercolor Sunset

Whew! This is it! Today we finish a whole painting of a Sunset in Watercolor! We will review all we’ve learned in Lessons 22 – 27 plus one more technique for painting grass.
Let’s get started!

Begin by preparing your watercolor paper. My paper is
12½ X 9½ inches. Stretch it and staple it onto a piece of plywood. I have added strips of masking tape all around the edges of my paper, on top of the staples, to make a nice border that the paint will not cover.

Next, draw a horizon line about 2/5 from the top of your paper. And draw a circle for your sun. I have placed my sun a little above my horizon line. Cover your sun with masking fluid and let it dry thoroughly.

Review Lesson #23 Stretching Watercolor Paper, and Lesson #24 Painting a sunset in Watercolor.

Wet your paper with clear water right over the masked sun and above the horizon line and then begin adding color. When you are finished let it dry thoroughly before you remove masking fluid from your sun.

Review Lesson #24 Painting a Sunset in Watercolor.

Paint your sun and add additional cloud details into it (Lesson #24).

When your sky is finished begin your water wetting your paper with clear water below the horizon line and begin painting your water.

Review Lesson #25 Painting and Scraping Water.

After applying a wash of paint onto the wet paper suck up any dark vertical streaks with a clean brush (Review Lesson #12 Perspective and Shading in Watercolor).

Finish horizontal waves but don’t scratch in highlights yet.

Draw a line for the beach. It’s a little hard to see in this last picture but you can see it more clearly in the next one.

Lift off any paint from the area in the middle for a small beach. Wet it with clear water and blot. Wet the beach area again to get it ready for paint.

Mix a beige color (yellow, and a touch of red and blue) and paint it onto the wet area for the beach.

Paint in some messy green paint for grass. Just kind of dab it on. Let it dry.

Dab on darker blotches of green (Add a little of it’s compliment, red, to make it darker), a little area at a time, and quickly smudge it with clear water on your brush as we did on the trees in lesson #27 Painting Another Tree in Watercolor.

Continuing a little area at a time…

Add some red blotches to make it interesting. Smudge with clear water on your brush – a little area at a time while it is still wet.

Dry thoroughly. With a small pointed brush, add little streaks representing grass. Lift some of the paint from top edges between the grass blades with clear water and blotting (See insert). Lift more blades of grass the same way in the interior of the grassing mounds.

With a pencil, draw some lines representing tree trunks rooted in the earth under your grass.

Begin scratching water reflections (See Lesson #25 Painting and Scraping Water).

How about painting in an island on the horizon line? Mix dark green (green and red). Review Lesson #22 Painting the Sky in Watercolor.

Continue painting the island...

Paint in tree trunks by painting dark green lines which are wider at the bottom.

Add some branches. Dip your brush in dark green paint and fan it between your fingers or on another piece of paper to separate the bristles. Dot on some leaves, a little at a time. This may take a little practice to get the affect you like. The separated bristles give it a jagged look and you’ll have to keep separating those bristles each time you dip it in the paint because doesn’t want to stay. You can also use a small sea sponge dipped in paint. Test it on a scratch paper.

Touch up the sandy beach a little with darker beige. Add just a little yellow to the scratched reflections on the water.

Add some dark green shadows by blotching just below the tree trunks with paint and the smudging a little on the edges with clean water.

When all is thoroughly dry gently pull off the masking tape from the edges of your paper and remove your staples.

Don’t forget to sign your painting!

6 comments:

Marian Heart said...

What a beautiful painting! I love the atmosphere of the finished painting! I would love to paint something similar, only a river scene with reeds in the foreground.

Mara Mattia said...

Marian,
A river with reeds in the foreground would be beautiful. Do it, post it, I'd love to see it!

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cheryl said...

Mara thankyou so much for your wonderful lessons and the selfless time you have put into making them. They are helping me along my artful journey and I know will be helping countless others to reach their artistic goals.

Shayna said...

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Shelley Whiting said...

Your landscape is very calm and peaceful. A beautiful and fantastic piece.