My watercolor experiences as I grow as an artist – through new techniques, painting successes and happy mistakes...sharing a tip or two, paintings, and enjoyment along the way. So, grab your paintbrush and let’s begin!
Elkmont - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Watercolor painting by
Karen A. Cooke
In addition to painting, I enjoy hiking and since I live close to the Smoky Mountains, I do quite a bit of hiking in that area. I love to take photos of the cabins to paint later; or if time permits, I like to paint on location. The painting above was painted from a photo I took in late February on a rare warm day. The trees were still bare, but the sky was clear and blue.
History of the cabin above:
From the 1920s to the 1940s, Avent Cabin served as a vacation retreat and art studio for Mayna Teanor Avent. She spent summers in this cabin and painted watercolors of the Smoky Mountain landscape. The large window was added to let in natural light for Mayna's studio.
Would I love to have a cabin studio like this one!
Today's blog will give directions on painting this landscape with emphasis on painting a log structure.
Watercolor paper (type and size of your choice) - I used a 9" x 12" piece
Brushes: flat, liner and round (size of your choice based on the size of your paper)
Lightly sketch this painting on your paper. 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.
Masking the trees:
For ease in painting the sky, the lighter trees can be masked in using masking fluid. Do not move forward to painting the sky until the masking fluid is dry.
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. While the sky is still wet, drop in a pale green made from the Cobalt Blue and Cadmium Orange at the horizon for the shrubs. Allow to dry.