Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to Paint Cat Fur

"Prince"
5" x 7" watercolor painting of my cousin's cat
Karen A. Cooke

Different types of animal fur require different types of techniques and different brushes.  What method used depends on the animal and the final result you desire.    The following are some things to remember about fur:

  1. Most animals will have different types of fur in their coat - short smooth, long wispy  and thick/clumpy fur.
  2. Animal fur is thick and will require layers of color and or detail.
  3. When working with watercolor it is important to paint the lightest color fur first and build up the darker layers.   The light base color is painted first with brush stokes placed on top. 
  4. Vary your brush stoke to keep the fur from looking uniform.  Animal fur is usually a little bit "scruffy" and unkempt looking. 
  5. Also, be certain to leave some white unpainted areas for highlights. 

Now. let's paint!


The watercolor above was painted on Arches 140 lb. cold press paper.

Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper (size of your choice)
Masking Tape
Watercolor board
Brushes: round, liner and flat or fan
Spray Bottle of water
Paint:
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Sepia
  • Black
  • Payne's Gray
  • Crimson
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • Yellow Ocher
  • Hooker Green
Note:  The colors above are the ones I used to paint the fur on the cat above.  Your paint colors will vary based on the color of the animal you are painting. 

Painting Instructions:
Sketch the basic shape of the cat with the most detail and attention given to the eyes.  The detail of the cat's head will be shaped by the color of the fur to define and shape.  


Basic head shape:
Use the lightest wash of yellow ocher and a round brush to define the outline of the cat head and fur.  Remember to leave some areas white for highlights.  While this paint is still wet, pick up some of the deeper colors (burnt sienna, etc.) and place in various locations to indicate the changes in color of the fur.  Leave the area around the nose and mouth as well as around the eyes white.  This will be shaded in later. 

Ears:
The ears are painted using a pale wash of crimson.  This paint will blend with the color of the fur surrounding the ear.  Vary the intensity of the paint leaving some areas white.  Refer to photo above.

Eyes:
Paint the eyes.  In this case the cat's eyes are a gold green.  Use a wash and paint the outer section of the eye with this color and allow to dry.  Paint the pupil last leaving a small white triangle of white paper unpainted.  Allow to dry.  Using a liner brush or a watercolor pencil (see tip below) outline the eye.  Allow to dry. 

TIP:  Watercolor pencils can be used to help outline and define the eyes.  This is especially helpful if you feel uncomfortable or unsteady using a fine liner brush for details.  Steady hands come with practice and becoming comfortable with painting.  However, remember - it is only paper!

Nose, mouth and muzzle area:
Using a pale wash of Crimson, paint in the nose and mouth leaving some areas lighter fading into white unpainted paper.  Allow to dry.  Using a pale wash of Payne's Gray to add shading and color in in the nose and lower muzzle.  Refer to photo above.  Add dots of color using the tip of a round brush for the part of the muzzle where the whiskers are growing.  Allow to dry.

Details:
Using the liner brush and black, brunt umber and burnt sienna, paint in a few individual pieces of the fur.  Don't let this become too involved, just the illusion is all that you will need. 

Whiskers:
The whiskers of the cat can be done in two different ways:

  1. Using a utility knife, scratch in the whisker, or
  2. Using a liner brush and white paint, paint in the whiskers. 
This is your preference.  In the photo above, I used a liner brush and white paint since this would show up better on this color fur.  Darker fur would make the scratch method more useful in that the scratch would be more easier seen.

Now, track down a pet or pull up a photo on line and get started painting!


Happy Painting!
Karen



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Magic Tea - Blending Watercolors

Magic Properties of Tea
Watercolor Painting - 5" x 7"
by Karen A. Cooke


I received several blends of tea this Christmas and while waiting for a cup to brew, I watched the swirls of steam rising from the tea.    This made me think of how the swirls of steam were moving and how this might be accomplished in a watercolor.  Teas are blended to create pleasing tastes and aromas, so I wanted to play around with color to accomplish a similar result in my painting. 

The magic of watercolor painting is how the paint can be blended to create pleasing and unique designs.  This painting will illustrate how to accomplish the magic of watercolor blending in a simple painting of a cup of tea and it's "magic" steam. 

Now, let's paint!

The watercolor above was painted on Arches 140 lb. cold press paper.

Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper (size of your choice)
Masking Tape
Watercolor board
Salt (table salt and/or larger grain sea salt)
Brushes: flat and round (size of your choice based on the size of your paper)
Spray Bottle of water
Paint:
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Sepia
  • Payne's Gray
  • Crimson

Painting Instructions:
This a very simple drawing of a teacup and saucer.  Do not draw in the steam rising from the cup.  The paint will take care of this. 

Cup and Saucer:
Wet the cup with clean water and using a blend of Payne's Gray and Sepia, drop in color to indicate shadows.  The cup is actually white, but you are simply painting the shadows.    I used a round brush to paint these shadows and used it to line the outside of the cup to separate the cup from the background.   Make this line very faint and light.  Allow to dry.  Be certain to allow the cup to dry before painting where the cup touches the saucer so that both appear as distinct items.  If the paint is wet, the colors will blend and the cup and saucer will appear as one piece rather than two distinct pieces. 

Tea:
Using a blend of Payne's Gray, Ultramarine and Crimson, paint the tea in the cup using a wet in wet method.  Start with the Ultramarine and Crimson in the center of the cup and add the Payne's Gray on the edges.  Allow the colors to blend and swirl together.  While the paint is still wet, drop in some salt crystals to push the paint around and create an interesting texture.    Allow to dry and brush off the salt crystals. 

This is one of the "magical"  qualities of watercolor painting:  each crystal of salt chases away the pigment to make a lighter area beneath it. 

TIP:  Salt does not always work the way expected.  It involves the paint pigment at the correct wetness as well as the speed that the paper and air dry.  However, the best results usually occur when the paint is damp and shiny.  If the paint is too dry, the technique won't work.  Conversely, if the paper has puddles of water, it will be too wet for it to work.    Practice this on a scrap piece of paper to determine the right ratio of paint and water.    This technique can be used for snowflakes, small flowers, etc. 

Magic Steam:
Wet the area of the painting above the teacup in a pattern to indicate the swirling mist of steam rising from the hot cup of tea.  Drop in Payne's Gray, Crimson and Ultramarine Blue.  Refer to the painting above for location.  The Crimson and Ultramarine will blend on the paper to create a purple.  However, you may want to blend these two colors on your palette as well to apply to the painting. 
While the paint is still wet, mist the outside edges of the paint with the spray bottle and add the salt crystals to the swirls of paint.  Allow to dry and brush off the salt crystals. 



Congratulations!  You have learned one of the "magical" qualities of watercolor painting! 

Happy Painting!
Karen

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway - How to Paint old Buildings

 
Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Watercolor painting by Karen A. Cooke
 
I have always enjoyed painting old building such as the mill above as well as cabins, old doors and windows, etc. This painting was done from a photo taken on a recent trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia in early fall of this year. Before we start painting, below is just a little background information on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the mill above.
 
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and an All-American Road which is the longest linear park in the United States running for 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. It runs through the Appalachian Mountains from its northern terminus in Virginia at the Shenandoah National Park south through Virginia and North Carolina to its southern terminus at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Mabry Mill is a watermill located at milepost 176 of the Blue Ridge Parkway approximately 70 miles southeast of Richmond, VA. It was built in 1903 by Edwin Mabry. The mill was first a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, then a sawmill and finally a gristmill. The mill is considered to be the most photographed structure in the United States. 
 
Now, let's paint!
 
 
The watercolor above was painted on Arches 140 lb. cold press paper. 
 
Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper (size of your choice)
Masking Tape
Watercolor board
Brushes: flat and round (size of your choice based on the size of your paper)
Paint:
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Yellow ocher
  • Sap Green
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Sepia
  • Burnt Umber
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Payne's Gray
  • Van Dyke Brown

 
 


 


Painting Instructions:
I sketched this drawing on my watercolor paper. However, if you feel you may need to erase multiple times, you may want to drawn on a piece of sketch paper and transfer your completed sketch to the watercolor paper. I discuss how this can be accomplished in my blog of May 11, 2016.

As a reminder: Multiple erasures can damage watercolor paper and cause pooling of water as well as differences in the way the paint is absorbed into or on the paper. Deep sketch marks will show up in a finished painting, even if they are erased. Correct perspective is an important part of this painting. Confirm that you like the perspective that you have executed in your sketch before you start painting. A poorly executed sketch done in a hurry cannot be overcome no matter how great a job one does with the paint.

Let's Paint!

Sky and Background Foliage:
Wet the sky from the top down to where the sky meets the buildings and the horizon using clean water. Using a wash of Cerulean Blue, apply the paint working from the top of the painting down to the horizon allowing the intensity of the color to become lighter.

While the sky is still wet, drop in a small amounts of Sap Green, Burnt Sienna and Yellow to paint in the shapes of the trees. This was early fall so there were hints of color change in the background trees. Allow to dry. Using a liner brush add in some tree trunks and branches in various locations. Refer to finished painting above. 


 




 
How to Paint Old Wood:
Wet the wood area with clean water and apply a place wash of yellow ochre, Payne's gray, and sepia. Drop in the colors in various locations. Some areas can even remain without color. Since the area was wet before the paint was applied, the color will run and blend.

Let this dry. Using a flat brush with the bristles fanned out slight, dry brush in wavy grain lines with a wash of Sepia and Payne's gray.

Let this dry and use a fine liner brush and draw in a few lines to further indicate the wood grain.
Don't forget to deepen the color in the shadows under the roof line.








 

Mill:
Paint the mill siding and roof as above in the "How to Paint Old Wood" section. After the initial wash drives, add a few lines to indicate shingles. Do not paint each individual shingles/siding. Allow to dry.

Mill Run:
Using Payne's Gray, Sepia and Burnt Umber paint the mill run using various intensities of paint.
Refer to the photo above for the deeper areas. Use a clean brush to remove the paint for the posts. I originally thought I would mask out the posts with masking fluid, but decided that I preferred the indistinct quality of the posts. Allow to dry.

Mill Wheel:
Use a clean dry brush and painting wet on dry, paint the wheel with Burnt Umber. Add Payne's Gray for the water paddles and between the spokes of the wheel. Keep these lines fairly straight, but do not go completely top to bottom, leave a few gaps. Allow to dry. Using a utility knife and referencing the finished painting above, scrape in the water cascading down the paddles to the pond below.

Mill Pond:
Using a wash of Ultramarine Blue and Cerulean Blue Refer to the painting above. Painting wet on wet, drop in paint for the reflections from the mill, stone wall and grasses on the bank using the same colors. Let the colors mingle for the reflections. Use a deeper shade of blue at the base of the water wheel. Allow to dry. Use the utility knife to scrape in some water splotches at the bottom of the water wheel to show reflected lift from the water as it enters the pond.

Foreground Grasses and Foliage by the Mill Run:
Using Sap Green, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber and Ultramarine, paint wet on wet. Refer to painting above for colors and placement. Allow to dry.

Finishing touches:
Using a mix of Payne's Gray and Burnt Umber, add the split rail fence on the left side background. 
Using Sap Green deepened with Ultramarine, add some taller grasses near the edge of the pond.
Using a sponge and various shades of green mixed from Sap Green, Yellow Ochre and Ultramarine, add the foliage on the building.

Look over your painting and paint any finishing details you would like to add. Then, sign your painting!

Congratulations!

Happy Painting!
Karen






 
     







Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Simple Christmas Acrylic Painting

Bringing Home the Perfect Tree
an acrylic painting
16" x 20"

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


A Simple Christmas Acrylic Painting

 

Sometimes a simple painting can be the perfect decorative item for your home during the winter months.  The acrylic painting above, Bringing Home the Perfect Tree, is an example of just that. 

 

What says winter and Christmas more than snow, a sled and an evergreen tree?  This simple version is painted as a “sketch” with even a few pencil marks showing for the scale of the sled.    The painting shows movement and allows one’s imagination to come to life in the painting….it encourages one to use imagination to tell the story of the painting  through the sled and tree moving off of the painting on the right. 

 

Supplies Needed:
Canvas panel:  I used a 16” x 20” white primed stretched canvas

Brushes:  flat and round  (sizes of your choice)

Paint:

  • White
  • Black
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Medium Orange
  • Cadmium Red Lt.
  • Crimson
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Raw Umber
  • Sap Green 
     
    Note:  Learning to mix colors is an important part of achieving harmonious colors in your paintings.  Practice mixing the paint rather than using a premixed color. 

  • Brown can be mixed from the colors above (red, yellow and blue or orange and blue).
  • Green can be mixed from the colors above (yellow and blue).
 
Painting Instructions:
Lightly sketch the sled on the canvas with detail given to the sled runners.  Refer to painting above.

Snow:
Using a flat brush, lay in the snow areas of your painting.  Snow is not only “white.”  Notice the shadows in the snow (especially under the sled) and add a little black to make gray or a little bit of blue paint.  See where the snow was compacted under the sled runners?  Painting those areas with a white mixed with blue or black will show those shadows.  The snow under the sled is also in shadow from the tree.    Paint a light wash of white over the pencil marks around the sled, allowing these markings to show through the paint. 
 
Sled:
The sled is painted in various shades of brown mixed from Raw Umber as well as a brown mix from orange and blue.  White and/or yellow can be added to lighten the shades of brown.  Blue can be added to deepen the shade or brown.  Black can be used sparingly to add shadow on the runners.  Work with the colors and refer to the painting above for shadows and light. 
 
Evergreen Tree:
Trunk:  Block in the truck with Raw Sienna and come back over the top and add in darker and lighter areas of brown to indicate the bark on the trunk.  This does not need to be detailed.
Branches:
Prepare several shades of green paint before starting to paint the branches.  The branches will be shades of light, medium and dark green to show light and shadow.  Using either a large round brush or a flat brush, paint the branches in a sweeping motion painting from bottom to top.  Add layer on layer of varying greens to make the tree realistic.  Again, this is not detailed – step back from your painting to view your painting and see where you need to add paint.  Let some background white snow show through. 
 
Details:
Check the sled for any details you would like to add.  The snow can be deepened and movement can be created in the background snow using shadows to show “humps” in the now.  Rarely is snow on a completely flat surface.   The “pencil marks” can be enhanced by using a liner brush and painting these sketch marks. 
 
You can make this painting your own by add
 
Sign your painting!  Congratulations!

Happy Painting!
Karen
 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Painting Leaves with Salt



Winter Trees
9" x 12" watercolor painting



Salt Technique to Paint Fall Leaves in Watercolor

 

Many techniques can be used to create leaves and foliage in watercolor painting.  In the watercolor above, salt was used to create the leaves.    This blog entry will discuss the technique for using salt in watercolor painting. 

 

Salt can be used to create interesting patterns in the paint for various subjects.   When salt is scattered into wet watercolor paint, the salt absorbs the water in the paint pulling the pigment across the paper in abstract patterns.   All sizes and types of salt can be used.  However, remember the bigger the piece of salt, the more it will absorb and the larger the abstract patter you will achieve. 

 

I wanted abstract patterns in the background and leaves with only a definite shape in my tree trunks.  I selected blues, golds and orange as my dominate background colors.  The trees are a nice contrast in white.  Select whatever colors you would like in your background and foliage and let’s get started painting! 

 

Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper – your choice of size – I used a 9” x 12” piece of 140# Arches watercolor paper
Masking Tape
Watercolor board

Salt – small grain table salt as well as larger, coarse grain salt

Masking Fluid and old brush
Brushes:  flat and round (size of your choice based on the size of your paper)
Paint:

  • Yellow Ocher
  • Windsor Blue
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Sepia

  • I made green from mixing the colors above (yellow ocher and Windsor Blue).  Green made from mixing the colors used in the painting make for a more harmonious color blend.
  • Also, the brown in the painting was mixed from the blue and burnt sienna. 
 
 
Painting Instructions:
Sketch only the tree trunks.  The darker branches will be painted in last.   Apply masking fluid on the areas of the tree trunks you want to remain white.  I left a break in the trunks to allow the foliage to cover parts of the trunk.   Allow the masking fluid to dry.
 

Foliage and Background:
Wet the entire area of your paper with clean water.  Using the painting above as a guide or painting as you would like, drop in deep concentrations of watercolor.   Leave some areas of the paper white.  Let the colors mix on your paper.  While the paint is still wet, drop in the salt.  I used both small grain and coarse grain salt.  The coarse grain salt was used where I wanted larger “leaves” – mainly out the outside edges of the painting.  The finer grains were used in the center section of the painting and along the bottom edge. 
When the paint is dry, gently rub off the salt.

 
Tree Trunks:
Remove the masking fluid.  Each tree truck is painted separately.  If the trunks touch, let one dry before painting the adjoining tree.  Wet each trunk with clean water.  While still wet, use a round brush and Payne’s Gray and/or Sepia, and apply the paint along the right side of the trunk.  The water will pull the paint across the trunk leaving a dark line on the right side of the tree.  A pale wash of Windsor Blue also be added on the trunk for additional shadows and to tie in with the background. Allow to dry.  When dry, use the same color paint and make small lines and indentations on the trunk. 
 
Branches
The branches were painted using a small round brush and Payne’s Gray and Sepia paint.  These can be added randomly; or if you are uncomfortable with only using your brush, the branches can be added with a pencil and then the paint applied. 

Details:
The only details I added were a few spatters of “leftover paint” on my palette.  A few spatters of green, orange or brown.  If you do add spatter, be certain to cover your tree trunks so that they remain white.
 
Sign your painting!  Congratulations!



Happy Painting!
Karen
 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Painting Small Buildings with Few Details


Echoes of the Past
5" x 7" watercolor painting



Painting Small Buildings with Few Details

Elkmont

Abandoned Cabins in the Mountains

 
The painting above was painted from a photograph I took in the Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is a good example of painting small structures in a landscape with little detail in an Impressionistic style.   

 

To add a little background to this painting, below is a short history of the Elkmont area:

 

Elkmont was a former community in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee named for the numerous elk which once inhabited the area.  The community grew up adjacent to the former logging town of Elkmont when the Little River Lumber Company sold land to individuals to create a private social club.  What began as a “Gentleman’s Hunting Club” soon developed as a place for affluent Knoxville, TN families to escape the hot urban summers.  The Elkmont Campground of the GSMNP exists where the original town of Elkmont was located. 

 

When land was acquired for the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the 1920’s and 1930’s, most farms and homes of the mountain people were purchased and residents were required to vacate the property.  The Elkmont Club residents were able to negotiate lesser sale amounts in exchange for lifetime leases on these properties.  The last lease expired in 2001.    The Park General Management Plan calls for all structures to be removed and returned to their natural state.  However, the park is currently conducting an Environmental Impact Statement to determine the future of this district.  All Elkmont buildings are closed to the public; however, photos can be taken from outside the structures along the trails.    

 

One can see the beauty of many of these mountain cabins in spite of the ravages of time and the elements.

 

I enjoy painting cabins and these were interesting in spite of their condition.    As one can see from the painting above, the buildings are in disrepair and the red cabin on the right has braces holding up the walls.   In this painting, I wanted to give a general feeling of the area, not a photographic representation. 

This painting was done quickly with few details in the cabins.  The emphasis was getting the feeling of the area as indicated by the muted color tones as well as the misty background trees and the lack of details in the foreground as well as the cabins. 

 

Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper – your choice of size – I used a 5” x 7” piece of 140# watercolor paper
Masking Tape
Watercolor board
Brushes:  flat and round (size of your choice based on the size of your paper)
Paint:

  • Yellow Ocher
  • Sap Green
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Viridian Green
  • Crimson
  • Sepia
  • Burnt Umber
  • Payne’s Gray
  • VanDyke Brown

    Painting Instructions:
    Lightly sketch in the cabins and background/foreground with very little detail.



Background:

Wet the top background area with is basically all foliage with clean water.  Painting wet on wet, drop in Sap Green, yellow ocher and Vandyke Brown.  Refer to photo above.  Allow to dry.

 

Foreground:

Wet the front section of your painting and again painting wet on wet.  Drop in the following colors:  VanDyke Brown, Sepia, and Sap Green.  Refer to the photo above.  Allow to dry.

 

Cabins:

Green Cabin:

I painted the roof first and worked my way down the cabin from top to bottom.  I painted the rock chimney on the right side last. 



Note:  I did not use masking fluid around the doors and windows, but painted carefully around the inside and outside of the window and door frames. 



The roof was painted wet on wet using a very light wash of Payne’s Gray.  Touches of Sap Green and Yellow ocher were dropped in various locations to show moss growth.  The underside trim of the roof was painted with a mix of Sepia and VanDyke Brown.  Paint the areas under the edge of the roof a bit darker.  Allow to dry.   



The cabin siding was painted next from a wash of Viridian Green mixed with Burnt Umber.  Refer to the photo and deepen the color in the shadow sections near the roof, under the windows and near the bottom of the cabin.  Allow to dry and then dry brush the same colors of paint onto of the wash to provide a little bit of siding texture.  Allow to dry.



Paint the inside of the cabin seen through the windows using Payne’s Gray and allowing for the view to continue through to the outside area.    Use a light wash of Payne’s Gray to paint the screen door.  Allow to dry.



Red Cabin:

The red cabin was painted using a wash of Crimson mixed with VanDyke Brown.  Vary the shades based on light.  The roof was painted with a wash of VanDyke Brown.  Allow to dry.    Add a few darker area of VanDyke Brown to indicate the siding on the cabin.



Paint the windows using Payne’s Gray.  Leave the frames white. 

 

Details:

I prefer to paint with few details.   However, the following details were added:


  • Add the chimney using short brush strokes of VanDyke Brown.
  • Add a light wash of Payne’s Gray around the window and door frames. 
  • Using a liner brush, paint in a few very faint lines for the screen in the door.
  • Using the liner brush, paint in a few tree limbs in the background using VanDyke Brown.
  • Check for any additional details you would like to add; however, remember it is not intended to be a photographic representation, but a general feeling of the cabins in that area. 
     
    Sign your painting!  Congratulations!

    Happy Painting!
    Karen
     

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How to Paint an Old Brick Wall





Old Tredegar
9" x 12"
Watercolor painting








The painting above is an example of an old brick structure painted using watercolor.  My reference material for this painting was a photo of an old abandoned foundry located on Belle Island in Richmond, VA on the James River.  The brick structure was crumbling with vines and trees growing around and inside the structure. 
 
Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper (I used Arches 140 lb. paper – 9” x 12” size)
Watercolor board
Masking tape to anchor paper
Brushes:
Round brush – your choice of size
Flat brush – 1/8” or ¼ “ in size
 
Paint: 
  • Burnt Umber
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Sepia
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Cadmium Red Pale (Light)
  • Crimson
  • Grumbacher Red
  • VanDyke Brown
  • Sap Green
  • Hunter Green
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • White
     
Painting Instructions:
Lightly sketch your painting with very little detail.    Draw in the large tree trunks; however, the branches will not need to be sketched in with a pencil.  These can be painted with your brush after the foliage is in place. 
Check your perspective.  If you are happy with your perspective, use a ruler and a pencil to draw lines for the bricks.  

Note: The lines are not all parallel to the top and bottom of your paper, but will be angled to an “invisible” point to the right of your painting.  If you need to do so, align your ruler to your vanishing point in the distance on the right with a masking tape “X”  and place your ruler on that “X” as you lightly draw your pencil lines for your bricks. 
 
Background Foliage, Foreground and Sky:
It is easier to work from top to bottom on a painting to prevent your arm/sleeve from dragging across your wet work when working from bottom to top.
 
Sky and Trees:
Using Cerulean Blue paint the sky working wet on wet from top to bottom.  While the sky is still wet, drop in Sap Green for the trees.  Allow to dry.  Foliage will be added later in the painting when the tree trunks and branches are added.
 
Background Foliage:
This is the foliage that can be seen behind the arched opening in the brick wall.
Moving from top to bottom working wet on wet, paint the background with a light yellow green and then drop deeper shades of Sap Green in various areas for the tree foliage.  While this is still set, drop in a deeper shade of green mixed from Sap Green and Ultramarine Blue.  Allow to dry.  Again, additional foliage, branches, trunks and limbs will be added later.
 
Foreground and Foliage on Right:
Wet the area for the greenery on the lower right.  Drop in various shades of green:  Sap Green, Sap Green mixed with  Yellow Ochre and Sap Green mixes with Ultramarine Blue.  Allow to dry.

 
Sidewalk area:
Wet this area with clean water and paint in this area with Payne's Gray and green.  Deepen this near the greenery.  Leave some of this area unpainted.  While still wet drop in some  spatter of Sepia and Payne's Gray for pebbles. 
 
Now for the fun part – painting the brick wall!
 
Brick Wall:
Apply wet on wet a light base of yellow ochre on all the brick area.  Allow to dry.  Prepare several colors of paint for your brick.  Use different shades of red, orange, gray, etc.  Using your flat brush, paint the brick wet on dry using the pencil lines you drew in previously as your guide.  Vary the color of the bricks that are placed side by side and alternate your pattern so that no 2 edges are lined up.    This can be time consuming; however, it does not have to be perfect.  Remember this brick wall is part of a building which has fallen to ruin.  There are sections of the arched entry where bricks are missing.  Allow the bricks to dry. 
 
Prepare a light wash to Payne's Gray, Sepia,  Yellow Ochre and Sap Green.  Using the photo as a guide, paint the wash over the bricks deepening the wash in some locations and keeping it light in others.  Drop in green to indicate the moss growing on the brick in some locations.  Allow to dry. 
 
The brick had various locations with white brick from paint, etc. over the years.  This can be achieved by using one of two methods.
 
  1. Use a small piece of sandpaper and sand off the paint in various areas to expose the white paper, or
  2. Use Chinese White Watercolor paint and a dry flat brush to add areas of white.

I used white paint in this painting. 
 
 
Details:  Adding foliage and tree trucks and limbs
Using the previous mix of greens (light and dark) and a small sponge, add the foliage in the top section of the painting as well as through the archway.  Also, drop in some of the green onto the brick wall to indicate where greenery is growing over the top and up from the greenery near the walkway.  A brush can also be used if you prefer to add the greenery.
 
Using a round brush, paint in the tree limbs and tree trunk using VanDyke Brown and Sepia.  Refer to the photo above for placement. 
 
View your painting to see if any additional details need to be added in the painting.  When you are satisfied, sign you name.
 
 Congratulations!

Happy Painting!
Karen