Demo: Watercolor Landscape

This is my set up for this tutorial. I will be working with the following materials:

– Watercolor paper “Fluid 100” cold press 140 lb. The size is 11”x14”.
– HB pencil and Stick Eraser (I remove the eraser dust using the cheap 1″ brush)
– 12 colors: Buff Titanium, Hansa Yellow Light, Hansa Yellow Medium, Hansa Yellow Deep, Pyrrol Scarlet, Quinacridone Rose, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber. The least used will be Buff Titanium, Pyrrol Scarlet and Quinacridone Rose,
– I will use mainly 2 Chinese Brushes and 1 Oval 3”/4 Silver Black Velvet. Other brushes will be for details.
– I use a utility knife to scratch lines and dots (branches and textures).
– Rather than using one large water container, I have 2-3 cups to avoid any color contamination. I use clean water to make sure my brush is spotless when switching to a pure color/light value.
– A water spray bottle is always useful to re-work wet-in-wet areas.
I chose this photo of Yosemite (taken by me) for its normal lighting and mood, no complex sunrise or sunset with subtle colors. It will be painted in a loose style without lots of details, although one can see all the different elements clearly.
Step 1: I took a picture of the sketch with my hand to show size. It is quick drawing just to place the different elements and get the composition quickly.
Step 2: I usually work from top to bottom, starting with a mix of cerulean blue and ultramarine blue for the sky. I work wet-in-wet as I want to show the soft clouds blending with the sky. As I get closer to the mountain I paint long strokes of cerulean blue.
Step 3: I continue with light values on the mountains to suggest different textures.
Step 4: Once the block-in is done, I start placing the dark values on the different elements.
Step 5: Then I refine my values and add textures to show better the different elements.
Step 6: I add more values and textures on the hut and the whole foreground. I’m thinking the sky could be better so I will retouch it most likely.
Step 7: I add light values to the foliage of the tree and textures to the rock and bush on the left side of the foreground.
Step 8: I add light values to the foliage of the tree and textures to the rock and bush on the left side of the foreground.
Step 9: I paint more details on the tree, the hut, the foreground, and minor details on the background.
Step 10: I paint the blue sky darker. The clouds are different but they stand out more. I also refine the hut and the foreground.
Last step: More textures on the foreground. I scratch 2 small twigs on the shrub then add minor details on the mountains. Et voila!
Comparison photo and finished painting.
Behind-the-scenes: in the final stage I added some Winsor & Newton green (palette in the foreground).