Country Lane in Autumn
Country Lane in Autumn
For this scene I wanted to capture the bright glow of a crisp, late autumn day. It was important therefore to work quickly with fresh bright colours, in an attempt to capture the spontaneous feel, essential for a successful watercolour painting.
I started by lightly sketching the main shapes, thus establishing the composition. Following this I protected the main tree trunks and tops of the dry-stone walls with a touch of masking fluid.
I then mixed the following washes - Cobalt Blue with Cobalt Violet, Cadmium Yellow, Raw Sienna with Burnt Sienna, Aureolin with Cobalt Blue, plus a rich dark Green mixed from Viridian, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. After coating the whole background with clean water, I floated these washes in, allowing them to mix and merge on the paper.
Once the background washes had dried, the masking fluid was removed from the main tree trunks.
I then started the distant trees with a mixture of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna, gradually strengthening this towards the foreground.
The large tree on the right has a light and a dark side - the light side was indicated with a wash of Raw sienna and the dark side with a rich dark brown mix of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue, floating these colour in, in quick succession so they blended rather than creating stripes.
This same method was the used for the large trees on the right, after which I rubbed away the masking fluid from the walls. The colours used in the initial washes were then placed into the wall and grass verges before being allowed to dry.
It was now time to add some more detail, so using a mixture of White Gouache and Lemon Yellow plus White Gouache and Cadmium Yellow, I painted quick dashes of colour to represent leaves catching the light.
Following this I painted in some strong dark green colour in front of the wall on the right, to represent bushes, then some shadow colour mixed with Cobalt Blue and Cobalt Violet was washed randomly over the left hand wall, taking care not to cover it entirely, thus creating a dappled effect.
In this final stage I washed in a thin mixture of Cobalt Blue and Cobalt Violet over the road, along with some flecks of Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna into the verges to indicate fallen leaves. When this was thoroughly dry I placed in some shadowy washes right across the road, using these to indicate the contours, being mindful all the time that the light was coming from the left.
The final touch was to suggest the bright green leaves against the wall on the right with a mixture of White Gouache and Viridian.
It is important to note in this scene how the track narrowing into the picture gives it a perspective which, combined with cooler colours and paler tones in the distance, getting warmer and stronger towards the foreground, helps to create a feeling of depth and distance.
From Photograph to Painting with Matthew Palmer
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Spring Fervour with David Hyde
Market Day in Brittany with Marilyn Allis
Cromford Canal with Matthew Palmer
Portraits in Pastel Pencils with Heather Jolliffe
A Passion for Watercolour Painting