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 Autumn Watercolour Pencils


Now for a simple little autumn scene with all those gorgeous colours associated with autumn.

Essential Supplies

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

Watercolour Paint
Watercolour Pencil x24

3/4" Wash brush
No.8 Round



Again with my cool grey, simply map out with a few lines the main structure of the picture. Obviously, because there is going to be trees coming up into the sky, Iím not going to draw all of these before I have my sky wash done. So that really is all I need for my outline drawing.

A slightly more complex sky this time, but again taking the paint off the pencil with a wet brush, a little bit of yellow ochre to start with, followed by a little bit of light red. Remember in any kind of scene, build up the mood and atmosphere that you want and for this obviously I want to get autumnal colours in there. The main blue is indigo.

Then again indigo slightly darker to intimate a few clouds all whilst it's still sopping wet, so donít fiddle and donít mess about.



Whilst this is still ever so slightly damp, I am going to my blue-grey taking the paint off the pencil with my No.8 round brush and simply drop in some blobs in the far distance on my horizon line. These will eventually turn out to be distant trees a long way off. This needs to dry before drawing my main trees.
Now all my distance and my sky is dry. Let's draw on some trees, bigger more impressive chunky trees. I am starting off with a bit of raw sienna and very simply drawing a few sticks with some twigs coming out of them. Followed by a little bit of Vandyke brown, then a little bit of the black which is mars black.





I've already told you why I use watercolour pencils, and the reason being it is such a handy little medium but for most people painting outdoors on location is a bit of a nightmare quite frankly. Thatís because wherever you sit at your easel there is always going to be lots of people coming over to look over your shoulder, but once you sit yourself down on a park bench, the nearest rock or whatever, armed with simply a sketch book, a little tub of pencils and a brush you donít draw much attention, but you do draw some lovely pictures whilst using watercolour pencils. Capturing all the light and colours but because you are working on a sketch you automatically cut out lots of unnecessary clutter within the landscape in front of you hence making it easier to work this into a full painting at some later stage. Also on holiday they can be very personal memories which can be much better than photographs. Also it is a lot lighter to carry in your luggage.
Now for the main structure or skeleton of the trees, I could leave them like this without any water on them, but they could be slightly hard and sharp edged which I donít want. I want a rounded feel to my tree trunks rather than flat so before I go any further it's time for some water.

All I am doing with the tip of my No.8 round brush is stroking over the tree trunks, this softens the colours and helps to give a rounder look to the tree trunks, but notice now I have my light to the left, mid tone down the centre and dark to the right.




Now for the top bits. Iím starting again with my round brush stroking off paint from the pencil and actually applying on the painting with the side of the round brush.
Now in a similar manner a few stokes of light red, also some of my blue-grey.



This is a very simple technique and I'm sure you will agree, very effective.
Now for the foreground areas and moving swiftly to my yellow ochre and just scribbling in, but not going into the path. Using the side of the pencil, just like any other pencil you can get different effects by using different parts of the pencil. Incidentally, donít use a pencil sharpener on your watercolour pencils, use some kind of blade to sharpen them, because a pencil sharpener will give you a very sharp point and make the watercolour pigment very brittle so it breaks quicker and you waste more pencils. Also, if you use a blade to sharpen them then you are going to have more angles to your pencil end. Into the path Iíve stroked on with raw sienna with a tiny touch of Vandyke brown on top.



Now again it's time for the water, using my large ĺ" wash brush stroking in all the areas that I have pre drawn, but instead of doing big blank washes, daub on here and there leaving a few bits unpainted just leaving dry pencil.
To add a few scary bits, shadows coming across from the trees, for this I am using indigo and purple-grey mixed on the pencil. Also whilst you're doing this, donít just stick to stuff you can see, add some shadows that are out of shot. A few flicks in the base of the clumps of trees with bring these down to the ground, still with the indigo. Also a little bit of shadows to the left of the path.  



A couple of tracks on the path, still with the same brush and just daub on with indigo using the tiny corner of the brush.

There we go a very simple autumnal scene with very little effort.