"Summer in France"
Summer in France
A watercolor painting by Karen A. Cooke
Since this painting will need to be sketched in more detail than some paintings in order to get the perspective correct for the door, step, bike and sidewalk, as well as the lines of the bricks, you will need to decide where to do your sketch. Depending on how comfortable you feel with your sketching, you can sketch directly on the watercolor paper or prepare a sketch on the same size paper and transfer to your watercolor paper when complete. Watercolor paper does not hold up well to too much erasing; so if you feel as though you will need to erase multiple times to get the perspective right, then prepare a sketch on a piece of drawing paper and transfer to the watercolor paper once you are satisfied. As always, the sketch is not main focus of the painting, but should be a guide for the placement of color. Details will be added as the painting processes with your brush.
Multiple size brushes of your choice, I used the following:
· #12 round brush
· Flat brush
· Liner brush
· Grumbacher Red
· Burnt Sienna
· Medium Yellow
· Windsor Blue
· Payne’s Gray
· Sap Green
· Yellow Ochre
· Van Dyke Brown
Let’s get started! This painting takes time and is executed in several steps to allow the paint to dry. Don’t rush the work and enjoy the painting!
Masking will play a big part in this painting. In order to maintain areas for white or lighter colors in the dark brick, greenery and the bike, masking is an important step.
Examine the photo above and you will see that the following will need to be masked:
· Brick – some, but not all lines for the bricks in the cottage
· Roof – highlights on the shingles
· Highlights on the wood on the porch
· Greenery – some lighter stems
· Flowers – both in the pots and growing on the bricks
· Window panes
· Highlights in the sidewalk cracks
This can be a very time consuming process, but is very important to the final outcome of the painting. A very fine brush will need to be used to make these lines or you can use a fine line masking fluid pen. I used a masking fluid pen on this painting. The one I like consists of a small plastic bottle that can be filled with masking fluid and has a small, hollow metal tube that allows the fluid to flow out of the tube onto the paper. Various types can be purchased on line or in art supply stores. A fine liner brush will also work; however, the pen allows for easier control of the size of the line and helps prevent bubbles in the fluid.
Let’s start painting! The greenery, bricks and sidewalk will be painted using a wet on wet wash.
Paint the greenery on the right side, painting around the red flowers.
Porch Roof and Sides:
Paint the porch roof using a wash of Van Dyke Brown mixed with Burnt Sienna varying the intensity in several locations on the roof. Allow to dry.
Sidewalk and Steps on Porch:
Flower Pots and Flowers:
Using Van Dyke Brown, paint the wooden areas of the pots and drop in Paynes Gray for shadows in various locations on the wood. Allow to dry. Paint the metal stays of the pots with Paynes Gray leaving some sections lighter than others. Note that the pot on the left is darker than the one on the right as it sits in the shadow of the porch and greenery.
Leaves and Flowers:
Using a light mix of Paynes Gray and Ultramarine, paint the bike tires. Allow to dry. Using a pale wash of Paynes Gray and Van Dyke Brown, paint the frame of the bike using the same color used for the tires as shadows on the frame. Refer to the photo for placement. Allow to dry.
Using a mixture of Paynes Gray and Van Dyke Brown, paint the address sign. Using Paynes Gray and Yellow Ochre, paint the lamp on the porch. Allow to dry.
Using a liner brush, add some accent lines in the sidewalk and the street. Check for any other areas that may need to be highlighted.
Great job – sign your name!