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 Low Force, County Durham


This was another one of those outdoors on location with a group days, at the lovely Low Force near Barnard Castle. Fabulous weather, fabulous location, the only drawback being we were all bitten to pieces by the midges.

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
Light Red

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


In the first image you will see a very patchy looking drawing with bits and pieces here and there to represent a few rocks and the general flow of the water.

In stage 2 youíll see that Iíve put on a very simple sky wash, using just a little bit of cobalt blue into my pre wet sky area and suck out a few clouds using my damp 1.5" wash brush. Whilst the sky was still wet, I have put in the very distant fir trees using firstly cobalt blue and light red and then dropping in a little bit of Hooker's green and burnt sienna here and there just to pick out a few green highlights. It is important to do this whilst the sky is still damp, because it then spreads ever so slightly to give it that hazy distance effect.



Now for the nearer bigger trees, I have used my ĺ" wash brush for all of this, firstly going in with very wet yellow ochre then on top of this, mixtures of Hooker's green and burnt sienna followed by Hooker's green mixed with yellow ochre. Finally, put a few touches of cobalt blue into the base areas of the trees, spreading it slightly to give a bit more depth to this area.
For the water in the middle distance I wanted it to lie flat because this is the bit above the waterfall. I have used my Charles Evans British sea mix for this, which is a readymade tubed colour, then using my ĺ" wash brush simply put a few weak horizontal strokes here and there.

For the rock areas using my No.8 round brush drop on some well watered yellow ochre, followed by raw umber and finally cobalt blue mixed with burnt sienna. Using the corner of my credit card, whilst itís all still wet, scrape out the shape of a few rocks. You will notice that as my water gets closer to the waterfall itself, I start to drag down a few hints of the water colour to start and form the top of the waterfall.




For the final stage it seems I have done a heck of a lot without telling you, thatís because I have, but just all the same, the rocks either side of the waterfalls are done in exactly the same way as the previous rocks using the same colours and the same credit card (the best card to use is the Northern Rock card, that was a joke by the way). But everything is getting a little bit stronger in tone and colour which means a little bit less water into my mixes.

For the waterfall itself as it falls down I have again used my Charles Evans British sea mix but I've got the colours really well watered down so it's very weak, then dried out and split my ĺ" wash brush and then done very light gentle strokes in a downward motion to give me the fall of water. Notice the pool at the base of the waterfall in the foreground is a stronger, darker colour. The little bits of grass at the top of some of these rock areas are a mixture of Hooker's green and burnt sienna.

A lovely day out at Low Force with a lovely group of people. What better way to capture and remember it, than with a painting.