The Right Track
|The Right Track|
11" x 14"
I have always enjoyed old train depots and imaging the many travelers and their destinations. One can sense the hustle and bustle and excitement in these old building. So, when I saw this old train station when on vacation, I knew I had to paint it. I specifically left off the name of the city as well as changing the landscape up slightly (artistic license, of course) so that this old train depot could be a depot in any town or city.....all with the same excitement and history....and melancholy of a day gone by.
The watercolor above is a 11" x 14" done on Arches 140 lb. cold press paper.
Watercolor paper (size of your choice)
Brushes: flat and round (size of your choice based on the size of your paper)
- Cerulean Blue
- Yellow ocher
- Sap Green
- Ultramarine Blue
- Burnt Umber
- Burnt Sienna
- Paynes Gray
- Van Dyke Brown
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 for both the tracks and the depot. 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.
Wet the sky from the top down to where the sky meets the mountains on 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. Using a tissue or piece of paper towel, remove some of the sky color to indicate clouds.
While the sky is still wet, drop in a small amount of yellow ochre at the horizon and let it blend into the light area of sky. Allow to dry.
Note: It is not necessary to use masking fluid to mask out the telephone phone since you will be painting a darker color over the top of the light blue sky.
Mountains/Trees and Background Foliage:
Mountains: Prepare a wash of purple for the mountains using Ultramarine Blue and Crimson and paint the mountains.
Trees and Background Foliage:
The taller trees were painted using Sap Green and Yellow Ochre. The smaller trees/bushes were painted using Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre. Wet this area first with clean water and paint in the trees with a round brush and allow the edges of the trees to blend together. Drop in some Sepia to deepen the color of the tree leaves in random places. Allow to dry. Tree limbs and tree trunks can bee added after the foliage has dried. The evergreen trees on the right side of the background were painted after the other trees had dried with a mix of Sap Green and Ultramarine to make a rich shade of green. Again allow to dry.
I painted the train depot next starting with the roof and working my way down.
Roof: Using a wash of Paynes Gray and Ultramarine, paint each roof segment separately. Refer to the painting above for shadows, etc. After the initial wash drives, add a few lines to indicate shingles. Do not paint each individual shingle. Allow to dry.
Depot: The depot is made of old and weathered wood.
Painting old wood is easy to do using a mix of different muted colors.
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 and on the right side of the painting.
Using Paynes Gray, Sepia and Burnt Umber paint the tracks in the following order:
Paint the vertical rains first, using Paynes Gray for the "silver" shine on the rail. Allow to dry.
Using shades of Sepia and Burnt Umber, add the sides of the rails. Allow to dry.
The wooden tresses are painted using a wash of Sepia and Paynes Gray. Wet the area first and add the wash. When the wash has almost completely dried, use the edge of your flat brush and add the darker lines of the tresses. Keep these lines fairly straight, but do not go completely from one side to the other, leave a few gaps. Paint these both inside and outside of the rails. Allow to dry.
Using a wash of Paynes Gray and painting wet on wet, add the sidewalk deepening the color on the edges and where the sidewalk and building meet. Refer to the painting above. Allow to dry.
Working from back to front and left to right, wet the area with clear water. Near the trees in the background drop in Burnt Sienna and move forward with a wash of Sepia and Paynes Gray. Leave some areas unpainted and/or very light. On the right side foreground paint the grasses using Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber near the building and drop in some Sap Green. While still wet, add a few lines of Sepia using the edge of your flat brush.
While this area is still wet, spatter with Paynes Gray this section. Cover all areas of the painting except for the foreground dirt and grasses with paper towels so that the spatter of paint does not spill on the tracks or the building. Allow to dry.
Using a wash of Sepia and Van Dyke Brown, paint in the utility pole and the wooden supports on the depot. Allow to dry.
Look over your painting and add any finishing details you would like to add. Then, sign your painting!