Painting a Beach in Watercolour


(music) Today, I’m at Newcastle, Co. Down in
Northern Ireland where the Mountains of Mourne
really do sweep down to the sea. and today I will be painting a seascape I will try very hard to get a good
counterchange between dark and light I start with a first wash over all of the paper I start with cobalt blue for the sky I mix enough to ensure I can paint with
freshness It is important that everything is very wet
at this early stage Using broad sweeping strokes I leave an edge to create the illusion of
clouds Weak raw sienna creates the warmth This may form green with the blue
but don’t worry, keep moving Wash down past the edge of the mountain I’m using some Quinacridone Gold to darken
the mountain The colour is dulled slightly from other
paint on my palette Rinsing the brush and going back to
the blue to complete the wash I’m creating the lightest part of the beach,
the wet sand Cobalt and brown madder give a good
mix for the dark cloud I use the side of the brush to give a
more random stroke I rinse and dry the brush on a sponge and soften the edge Using the same mix I use horizontal
strokes to create more distant clouds Clouds in the distance appear smaller
and more linear Adding burnt sienna to the mix,
I add a first wash to the foreground rocks Using a cool yellow (Aureolin) with ultramarine I create the trees behind the houses Not strong enough. I add more pigment Remember the need for counterchange.
Darks beside lights The green is too unnatural. adding raw
sienna warms it. Although I am painting the trees,
I am also creating the roofs of the houses This is known as negative painting It is important to achieve a sharp edge
where the trees meet the houses If a sharp edge is not achieved,
the effect is lost. using a stronger green
(viridian + burnt sienna) I create variation in the trees to suggest
light and shade Rinsing the brush I pick up a little warm
pigment to add to the houses I mix a grey from cobalt + burnt sienna Take care with greys. Overmixing your
colours will create too many greys! A single stroke renders the harbour wall and continues along the sea wall Using burnt sienna greyed with a little
ultramarine, I add the dry sand The dry sand must be darker than the
light reflections on the wet sand and lighter than the dark reflections Using ultramarine and brown madder I reinforce the harbour wall and add the background mountain tone Trying to create an uneven edge to
suggest the mountain edge With the same mix I add more shade to
the lower trees This creates more dark/light counterchange Rinse and dry the brush to dry and
soften the edge In the distance edges will be softer Now trying to generate more hints of detail
in the houses I’m trying to make this look like a group
of buildings rather than a collection of individual
buildings To do this it is important to connect the
buildings with the shadow wash Little dark marks will create a busy look to
the harbour and buildings Quinacridone gold gives the warm colour to
the inn but it is important to spread this colour
around to prevent it from being too
isolated The same colour greates the warm
coloured stones at the bottom of the sea wall I use ultramarine and aureolin to start
the reflections I lift a little colour to hint at the
reflection of the inn and add more bands of reflections Darkening the wash in places adds variety Cobalt blue sky colour completes the
reflections The reflections should blend soft edges rather than hard On to the foreground rocks to add the
darker tones to the sides Leaving a little halo of light at the tops
helps the structure as the beach recedes the rocks will appear
to be smaller and more neatly arranged A second wash on the sea wall is painted
at a slant to suggest the slope of the wall Brown madder adds a useful warmth
to the rooftops Seascapes can easily become cold warm areas are essential for balance Using a rigger I add more dark accents This hints at windows, doors, eaves etc. These extra darks add to the counterchange In the photograph it is difficult to see
what exactly is there so do not add detail you cannot see I use my finger to soften some of the marks Vary the size and shape of the marks this prevents the marks from becoming
too repetitive You expect to see vertical poles The sea wall isn’t dark enough An additional wash darkens it without
killing the previous washes A few extra rock shapes Think of morse code – dots and dashes
give variation A few rocks on the wet sand show that
this is not deep water Quinacridone gold warms the tops of
the rocks and a final few strokes on the sand
finishes the painting (music)

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