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Watercolour Step by Step Demonstrations

'Sheep in the Snow / Sleights'

The recent heavy snowfalls in our village inspired this painting of sheep, huddled together on the edge of a field.

The distant moors provided a wonderful backdrop to the subject.

Crisp, bright light created dramatic 'highlights' and shadows full of 'warm' and 'cool' colour combinations.

Materials Used:

Paper: 'Saunders Waterford / Extra White', 140lb NOT.

Paints: ' Winsor and Newton' Artist's quality, 14ml tubes in the following colours:
Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Magenta and Burnt Seinna.

Brushes: Nos. 2, 4, 8, 10 Sables and a No 2 'Pro Arte' Rigger.

Masking Fluid

Step 1:

The drawing was undertaken using a 2B pencil. Next, all the relevant highlights were 'masked out' using traditional, 'Rowney' Masking Fluid.

Initial washes using the following pure colours were then prepared:

Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Violet and Raw Sienna. It may help to have a weak and strong mix of each. These three colours are the basic primaries upon which the entire painting is based.

Further washes of; Raw Sienna plus Cabalt Violet, Raw Umber plus Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue plus Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta and a touch of Raw Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna, finally, Burnt Sienna plus Ultramarine Blue.

The paper was then wet over its entirety.

Step 2:

The paint was then added to the damp paper, using predominantly 'pure' colours, and a few of the 'lighter' mixes, allowing the pigments to mix & diffuse on the paper.

The paper was then left to dry completely before the next stage.

Step 3:

Some of the masking fluid was removed from the distant fields. (Note; A clean finger is essential for this process and the paper must be thoroughly dry).

The distant fields can now be painted using mixes of; Cobalt Blue plus Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta and a touch of Raw Sienna. Care was taken not to over detail this area, allowing some of the first wash to remain in tact. The washes used were delicately applied, making sure that the under painting was not disturbed.

Washes of; Raw Sienna plus Cabalt Violet, Raw Umber plus Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue plus Cobalt Violet were applied to the sheep.

Washes of; Raw Umber plus Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta and a touch of Raw Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna were applied to the Hawthorn bushes.

All the above washes were applied to dry paper, but using a 'wet into wet' method which retains the soft, atmospheric feel to the painting.

Step 4:

All the remaining masking fluid was removed and some of the resultant 'hard' edges, softened with a damp brush.

Final washes were added to the foreground using the three primary colours, retaining some of the initial atmospheric washes.

Final details to the sheep and bushes were undertaken using; Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta and a touch of Raw Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna, finally, Burnt Sienna plus Ultramarine Blue.

Pay particular attention to all 'edges'. A combination of lost and found edges ensure that the mood and atmosphere are retained.

 

(The completed painting)

Sheep in the Snow / Sleights

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