Back to Main Site

 St Mary's Lighthouse


The following project was done out on location with a group and we were based at Dalton-on-Tees for the week. As you can see from this shot of the group out on location, there were a fair few of them, but what fun we had. We were in a different location every day.

Essential Supplies

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

Watercolour Paint

Charles Evans British sea
Charles Evans Sand
Raw Umber
Cobalt Blue
Hooker's Green
Burnt Sienna
Yellow Ochre
Alizarin Crimson
Light Red
Ultramarine Blue

1.5" Wash brush
3/4" Wash brush
No.8 Round
No.3 Rigger




In this first image you will see that I have done a very basic pencil outline and then into my sky wash, after masking the areas that I want to keep white, e.g parts of the lighthouse, with masking fluid. For the sky I firstly pre wet the paper and put on loads of water and dropped in with a little bit of cobalt blue and alizarin crimson in the bottom, to add a little bit of warmth. Then cobalt blue, good and strong, from the top all the way down to the base of the sky area and suck out those clouds with a damp brush.

In the base of the clouds I have put in a little bit of cobalt blue with light red for cloud shadow. Now I let this dry (which didnít take that long in the sun) before removing the masking fluid.

For the shadow in the lighthouse I have used cobalt blue with a tiny touch of alizarin crimson and burnt sienna and washed in the shadow areas and the windows using my No.8 round brush for the bigger bits and my No.3 rigger brush for the smaller bits. Notice how this dark shadow makes the white areas seem even whiter.




For the white buildings to the left of the lighthouse, I have used the same mix as the shadow in the lighthouse, just a little bit weaker. For the roofs of those buildings I have used cobalt blue with a tiny touch of light red. You will notice that there are some warm bits on the edges of the roofs, coping stones or whatever. For this I have used burnt sienna, again a combination of my No.8 round brush and my No.3 rigger. Notice how I have made the shadow darker underneath the eaves of the building.

For the white wall around the base of the lighthouse and also the sea wall, I have used the same shadow mix yet again with my No.8 round brush. Notice how I have left it white to the extreme right-hand side at that sea wall. Always remember where your light is coming from, and keep it coming from the same direction throughout the picture.

For those other little buildings to the left of the lighthouse, I have just used raw umber for the darker sides of the buildings and raw umber mixed with the Charles Evans sand colour, which is a specially mixed colour which comes in a tube, this has lightened my raw umber to give me the light side of the buildings. For the roofs I have again used burnt sienna. For the windows donít paint window frames just paint the frame and that is just a few blobs with the tip of my No.8 round brush.

Again the same old shadow colour, but this time slightly darker. For the grass beneath the lighthouse and the bushes next to the little buildings, I firstly dropped in the yellow ochre, good and wet, and then Hooker's green mixed with burnt sienna on top of this so it spreads one into the other, then a few darker areas with a mixture of cobalt blue and the tiniest touch of light red. Blue on top of the grasses and bushes will give a lovely rich depth to them.




In the next stage there seems to have been a lot done, but it's all just big quick slap it on stuff. You will notice that I have done more bushes underneath the cottages, this done in exactly the same way as the previous bushes and grasses. For the rocks, now this is a very simple technique, but you have got to be quick because it has to be finished whilst it is all still wet.
Using my ĺ" wash brush, simply loosely slap on firstly yellow ochre then raw umber, then a mixture of cobalt blue and burnt sienna to give me nearly black. All in the rock area, filling that entire area in and then get the edge of a credit card and scrape out the shape of your rocks.

Now for the sea. This is another special colour readymade in a tube, the Charles Evans British sea, using my 3/4" wash brush, simply wash in that whole area with this ready mixed colour leaving a few white areas of paper showing here and there to represent waves. For the path coming across from the lighthouse I have just washed in a very weak mixture of cobalt blue and light red. That wasnít so difficult was it?

For the final stages youíll notice that I have done some rock pool bits in the middle distance area, again using the Charles Evans sea colour and a little bit of beach which is just the Charles Evans sand on its own and then a few more rocks in the foreground. All done in exactly the same way as the previous rocks. And there we go my memory of a beautiful day at St Mary's lighthouse.