Watercolours: final paintings!

Finally I can post the watercolour paintings that I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks. I left them in the classroom to dry, and this weekend I was able to bring them home with me.

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This first one is a monochrome painting. It was fairly easy to do. First, we brush clean water over the entire piece of watercolour paper. We take the blue paint and create a heavily diluted puddle of paint. Dipping our brush into that, we then make brushstrokes over the area that will be the sky, leaving white spaces where we want the clouds to be. We should also leave a small white space where the moon will be.

Once that has dried, we can make the hills or mountains. We can use a more heavily pigmented puddle of paint for these. The hills in the background will be lighter. Once those dry, we can paint another layer over the foreground hills to make them darker. I sort of messed that part up while painting, but oh well.

The water is easy to do. Simply use the dry-brush technique, using a darker bit of blue paint. This helps to create a rippled water effect. We want to leave a white space in front of the moon. This helps to give the impression of moonlight shining on the water.

Speaking of the moon, if we weren’t able to leave a perfect white circle (which we probably weren’t) then we can take a coin or use our finger wrapped around a bit of paper towel and press down where the moon should be. This helps to lift up the excess paint and leave a white circle behind.

After the water has dried, we can paint on grasses in front of it, and some birds if we like.

Okay, now for the next painting. I’m not going to go into details of how I did this, but I’ll give a general overview.

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In case you can’t tell, it is a sunset reflecting off the water. I now realize that I forgot to do reflections of the birds, but never mind that. We start off by wetting the paper with clean water. Then, we take shades of diluted yellow, red, and blue paint, blending them together for the sky and copying it for the water to create a mirror image. Make sure to paint the yellow high enough that we can see it. I made the mistake of keeping it too close to the horizon, which got painted over by mountains and grass so the yellow hardly shows at all.

Once all of that has dried, we can paint on the mountains. I think we mixed together blue and brown to make a shadowy colour, but I don’t really remember. I just know that you can’t use black. Black is too harsh by itself. Create reflections of the mountains in the water, and let dry.

Paint on the rocks using the dry brush technique, then do the trees in the background with their reflections. I’m not happy with how mine turned out. They just look like grass or something, but anyway, that’s the next step to follow.

Finally we can do the tree. I did this freehand. I’m not happy with how the right side turned out, but I think I got the left side to look at least somewhat realistic. The birds are optional. All in all, this isn’t too bad for my first try.

And finally, just for fun I played around with the paints. Funny how our inner child comes out when we’re bored.

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I’m surprised that someone with such a twisted and sarcastic sense of humour as me would choose to paint butterflies and rainbows, but obviously that’s what I did. The only thing missing is a unicorn. And now I am wishing that I had painted a unicorn.

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