Thursday, April 30, 2015

Balcony Garden - Original Watercolor Painting

A lovely garden of flowerpots on the balcony of a quaint European building. I drew and painted this from a reference photo provided by Fabio Cembranelli in one of his workshops.

If you'd like to purchase this 15" x 11" original watercolor painting for $200 including shipping within the United States, you can do it securely on my website (click on the image). There are additional paintings for sale there, and my smaller paintings are available on my other website  Add a unique original painting to your collection!

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Artist Tip #33 - Painting "Lobstah" Step-by-Step

In this artist tip, I'll take you through my process of painting a New England seascape.  I enjoy painting seascapes, and have visited the Maine coast often to gather reference material for my paintings.  This painting is of a lobster boat I saw in the harbor in Rockland, Maine, a few years ago.

I begin all of my watercolor paintings with a simple pencil sketch on dry watercolor paper.  For this painting I used Arches 140# cold-press paper cut to 7.5x11".  I use a #2 mechanical lead pencil and a white plastic eraser.  I try to draw enough details to provide an accurate guide for my painting, but not so much that I cannot make changes as I paint:

Before I begin painting, I wet the paper on both sides, and then dry the top surface with a towel.  The dry surface holds painted edges, while the water within the paper makes it easier to achieve smooth washes with no blooms.

I rewet the sky to keep it soft, and then painted it with a light wash of blue and purple, leaving some white areas to represent wispy clouds.  I extended this wash down through the horizon.  Next, I painted the distant hills while the sky was still damp to give the hills a soft edge and a feeling of distance:

I then painted the water, leaving some white areas to represent foam. I painted around the boat.  I don't like to use masking fluid because it can leave hard edges, and can make a painting look "tight" or "rigid".

Next I painted the large areas and major shapes of the boat.  Figures always make a landscape of a seascape painting more interesting.  Shadows are also important.  It's good to have both white and darks in your center of interest to draw the eye to it:

To complete the painting, I added more details like the masts and rigging, the sea birds, and the distant sailboats.  I used white gouache for some of these shapes, which works fine for thin lines and very small areas.  I also added some dry brush strokes in the foreground water to give it more interest and bring it forward:

This is my usual approach to landscapes and seascapes:  first, paint earth and sky; second; paint the major shapes of the subject; finally, add details for interest.

As of this posting, the painting Lobstah is still available for purchase for $100 including shipping in the US.  Just click here for more details.

I hope you found this step-by-step explanation useful.  I've also turned this step-by-step demo into a YouTube slide show for your enjoyment and education.  Just click here to watch the video.

I hope you found this artist tip useful.  If you'd like to get artist and art collector tips like this delivered directly to your inbox every few weeks, sign up for my fine art e-newsletter here!  When you subscribe, you'll receive a 10% instant rebate valid for one month for any of my paintings.