Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Island in the Lake" - Sky, Water and Reflections

Island on the Lake
9" x 12" watercolor painting
Karen A. Cooke

The painting above provides great practice for painting sky, water and reflections.  All elements of this painting are loosely painted with minimal amounts of detail.  The painting was also painted on a slight slant to allow the paint to flow on the paper.

Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper (type and size of your choice)  - I used a 9" x 12" piece
Masking Tape
Watercolor board
Brushes: flat, liner and round (size of your choice based on the size of your paper)
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Sepia
  • Payne's Gray
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Yellow Ocher
  • Sap Green
  • Hooker Green Deep

Painting Instructions:
Lightly sketch this painting on your paper.  This is not an involved sketch, simply drawn the horizon, the island and make exterior shapes of the trees. 

Use a large round brush to paint the sky area.  Wet the sky from the top down to the horizon using clean water. Using a pale wash of Cadmium Orange drop in some color in various locations in the sky.  See above photo for location.  While this is still wet, paint in a wash of the Cobalt Blue, apply the paint working from the top of the painting down to the horizon .  However, do not completely cover the entire sky area.  Allow some white areas to remain.  Using a tissue or paper towel, lift some of the paint to create lighter areas in the sky for clouds, if needed.  Work around the island and trees.  Allow to dry.  

Deeper the wash of Cobalt Blue.  Continue using the round brush and paint in the water.  Again, do not complete cover the area, leave some spaces unpainted.  Add a light wash of Cadmium Orange in various locations in the water was well as wash of a deep brown mixed from the orange and green.  This will create the shadows of the island.  Refer to the photo above for placement.  The reflections closer to the island are painted with a mix of Payne's Gray and Cobalt Blue.  Paint this quickly while the water area is still wet.  Allow to dry.

The trees are painted with a light wash of Sap Green and the deeper colors are added next working light to dark.  Mix Sap Green with Cobalt Blue and Hooker Green with Cobalt Blue and add the shadows.  In some locations, use only a deep Blue from Cobalt Blue and Payne's Gray.   Allow to dry.    Note:  Tree branches will be painted in a later step. 

Island and Rocks:

Using a pale wash of Payne's Gray, start painting the rocks and land areas of the island.  Drop in the blue and Sepia in various locations to create the land areas and the rocks.  Refer to the photo above for location. 

Tree Branches:
Using a liner brush, paint details of branches on various trees (not all of them)  with deep shades of the green.  Do not overdo....less is more.   Allow to dry.

Finishing touches:
Review your painting and add any shadows that may be needed for depth. 


Happy Painting!

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