SMOKE AND LIGHT / WHITBY HARBOUR - WATERCOLOUR STEP BY STEP DEMONSTRATION
This painting was inspired by an atmospheric winter morning overlooking Whitby harbour. The reference material was 'cropped' fairly dramatically, to produce a cameo scene which I felt captured the light and atmosphere more successfully.
Paper - Arches 300lb rough
Colours - Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue.
The image was drawn out fairly accurately, using a 2B pencil. Masking fluid was applied to the main highlights and also to 'mid tone' areas which are surrounded by 'darks'.
The following washes were applied to damp paper:
Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Violet for the sky and distance, which merge seamlessly together. Cerulean, Cobalt Violet, Raw Sienna plus Cobalt Violet and Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta were introduced for the water and 'mid distant' harbour structures. Cerulean plus Cobalt Violet, Raw Sienna plus Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue plus Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta and two mixes of Ultramarine Blue plus Burnt Sienna (a 'warm' and 'cool' version) were used for the harbour wall and its dark reflections, the roadway and the buildings on the right hand side.
The paper was then allowed to completely dry.
The masking fluid was removed from the distance and also the lighter areas in the water using light pressure and a clean finger. The paper should be completely dry.
Mixes of Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Blue plus Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue plus Burnt Sienna were then introduced, 'wet into wet' on dry paper, to increase the darks on the bridge.
The remaining masking fluid was removed and the following colours introduced to the buildings on the right hand side:
Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Blue plus Burnt Sienna and two mixes of Ultramarine Blue plus Burnt Sienna (a 'warm' and 'cool' version).
The lower section of the roadway was tinted with 'wet in wet', pale washes of Raw Sienna, Cobalt Violet and Cerulean.
Details such as lighting columns, handrails, figures etc were painted. Some of the sharp edges and 'pure' whites, which resulted from using masking fluid, were softened using washes of Cobalt Violet and Raw Sienna.
Finally, to add atmosphere, smoke was carefully lifted out using a damp brush and kitchen towel.
Outr grateful thanks to Robert for supplying that feature. You can see more of his work on his own excellent website from which you can also buy his insprational teaching books:
Here's Robert in action on his DVD Painting Atmospheric Watercolour Landscapes