Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How to Paint Weathered Wood

Hooked on Elkmont
A watercolor painting by
Karen A. Cooke

I am focusing on this painting again for this post to discuss how to paint weathered wood.  Old buildings and unique points of view from those building (such as the painting above) often include weathered wood. 

Supplies Needed:
Watercolor paper (type and size of your choice)  - I used a 9" x 12" piece
Masking Tape
Watercolor board
Fine line marker - black and/or brown
Brushes: flat, liner and round (size of your choice based on the size of your paper)

  • Indigo
  • Burnt Umber
  • Paynes Gray
  • Yellow Ocher
  • Sap Green

Painting Instructions:
Use the painting from the last blog with the painted hook.  We'll paint the weathered wood this time. 

Weathered Wood:
Step 1:
Use a flat brush and dry bush in a bit of color to add texture and weathered stains on the wood.  Use pale shades of Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Paynes Gray.  MAINTAIN UNPAINTED AREAS OF WHITE.  This is the "white" paint on the wood.   Spread out the bristles of the brush to indicate wood grain.  Don't keep the lines straight, but slightly wavy for the wood gain effect.    Layer on washes in various location to indicate shadow and wear and weather patterns on the wood.  Refer to the photo for placement. 

Step 2:
Use a liner brush to fill in open spaces and cracks in the wood or shadows with Indigo and Paynes Gray. 

Step 3:
Add knots in the wood with Burnt Umber, Indigo and Paynes Gray.  Use the photo for reference. 

Step 4:
There is very little roofing visible, simply an overhand of roofing on the top right side of the painting.  This is painted with pale washes of Sap Green and Burnt Umber.    Allow to dry.  Use a liner brush with Indigo and Paynes Gray to add detail.  Refer to the photo above. 

TIP:  The key to successful painting of old wood is to work slowly with pale washes and allow the white paper to show through.  A dry brush is essential to help achieve this weathered effect. 

Happy Painting!
Karen Cooke

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