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 Spring Time

  STAGE BY STAGE

Essential Supplies

The items you will need to complete this scene are as follows:-

Watercolour Paint
 
Burnt Sienna
Yellow Ochre
Raw Umber
Light Red
Ultramarine Blue

Hooker's Green
Alizarin Crimson
Brushes
 
1.5" Wash brush
3/4" Wash brush
No.8 Round
No.3 Rigger

 

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As you will see in this first image I have done a very simple outline pencil drawing.  Then I then stuck on my sky wash.


Using firstly ultramarine blue, as a very weak wash, using a 1.5" flat synthetic brush. Then add a tiny touch of yellow ochre into the bottom areas of the sky. Wash out my brush, squeeze out surplus water and simply suck out the clouds areas. Then in the bottom of the clouds drop in a very weak mixture of ultramarine blue and light red.

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In the next stage you will see that I have dropped in the distant hills, and for this again I have used a mixture of ultramarine blue and light red very very weak and this is done whilst the sky is slightly damp. For a few of the highlighted fields to the left, I used a mixture of Hooker's green with yellow ochre and for that I used my ĺ" wash brush. I used a brush called the Sapphire which is a very handy mix of sable and synthetic, so has the best properties of both types of brush. Those of you who watch me on TV, will know that I only ever carry four brushes: the big one that I put the sky on with (1.5" Dalon), and the 3 Sapphire brushes that I use (3/4" wash brush, the No.8 round and the rigger brush).

You will notice that the hills I have painted are a very soft distant type, with a murky look to them, this is simply because the paper is still damp and the paint starts to spread giving the appearance of distance.
 

For the middle distance and trees on the right-hand side, I have used firstly on the extreme right, a mixture of ultramarine blue and light red, and then the same mixture with a hint of Hooker's green to make it slightly stronger. Then Hooker's green and yellow ochre mixed, which is a lovely spring time green. But at this stage of course I donít want it to be too strong, so lots of water in and simply daub on with my No.8 round brush. For the feel of a few twigs I used the same ultramarine blue and light red mix, but this time using my rigger brush.
For the hedgerow to the right-hand side and to the left, I have used a ĺ" wash brush and stroked on with the side of the brush with yellow ochre and a very light stroke, so that I can leave tiny touches of white paper sparkling through here and there. For the grass area underneath the hedge on the right, I firstly go on with yellow ochre then Hooker's green and yellow on top, all whilst it's still wet, leaving little bits of my yellow ochre showing through here and there. For all of this I used my ĺ" wash brush.

Now using a mixture of ultramarine blue and raw umber I put in the darker shaded areas of grass, using my No.8 round brush. Simply drop in darker areas which will eventually be in the shadow.
Interspersed amongst all this, and again using my yellow ochre followed by my yellow ochre and Hooker's green mixture, we have different colours all over the place, rather than just blocks of green. All this is done whilst the colours are still wet, notice as well little bits of white paper sparkling through here and there because I always use a rough surface paper you can take advantage of the surface by stroking over lightly and these little bits of white add extra light.

 

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Now in the trees I'm using my round brush for all of them and mixtures of yellow ochre, raw umber and ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, mixed very dark. But in order to get a rounded look to my tree trunk rather than a flat look, I need to make sure that all the colours are going on whilst the first colour is still wet, that wet the colours run into each other so that there are no sharp edges where one colour meets the next. Incidentally I never ever use a manufactured black, whenever you use a manufactured black, you kill the areas stone dead. There are two ways of mixing black in my colour system, ultramarine blue and burned sienna or alizarin crimson and Hooker's green.

For little bits of detail in my tree trunk or twigs coming out, I've again used my ultramarine blue and burnt sienna mix, but this time used my rigger brush.
 
For the furthest away of the three trees, I've just used a weaker mixture of my ultramarine blue and burnt sienna mix, the reason being as it's further away I donít want as much detail in it.

For the bits of foliage I've again used yellow ochre and Hooker's green and daubed on very lightly with my No.8 round brush. Notice I'm not painting individual leaves, simply tapping on here and there giving the impression of a canopy of leaves. A little hint of ultramarine blue and light red under some of the leaf areas, because remember, shadow gives a picture life.
For my path area I used a mixture of yellow ochre with a tiny touch of light red into it. And stroked over very lightly with my ĺ" flat wash brush, by stroking over very lightly I can leave little bits of white paper sparkling through, and now it's time for the scary bit, the shadows. This is the bit that pulls the whole painting together but uniting one side of the picture with the other.

You have a very cool shadow or a warmer shadow depending of the mood of the picture. For a cooler shadow I would use my mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna but for this warm shadow I am using a mixture of ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson to make a fairly awful purple and then tone down this colour with a hint of burnt sienna.

And there we are, a finished picture. Personally, I think it's the best time of the year.

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