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Watercolor Painting How I Paint

To explain how I paint my watercolors, I have used step by step photos of the process. Here is how I paint watercolor that you see on my web site. I have used "Baby's Driftwood"  as my example. Hopefully in the future I can add more descriptions and photos. longest_line_paw.jpg


My paintings start with the selected photos from the multitude of ideas that I acquire from seascapes, nature and all the images I consider to paint. I spend extensive time setting up the perfect photo, sometimes taking a multiple of photos of close ups
for all of my detail.

Then it is time to print that photo and get it on the easel. Here you see how I have masked off the paper with blue painter's tape. My easel becomes the place for all of my brushes as well as sketching pencils and the often used magnifying glass.


The palette I use is small enough to hold in my hand. Since I always paint standing up it is much easier. I also mix all of my colors which you see in this photo.


Most of the time I use a tiny paint brush to capture all of the detail. This brush in my hand is a 000. I use all natural hair brushes. The synthetic brushes do not give the flexibility nor do they have the sharp point that I get with the natural brushes.

Here is a close up view of Baby on the driftwood. After I painted Baby I started painting the driftwood. I chose the most difficult thing in the painting to paint first. I wanted to feel what the center focus of the painting was as I painted the rest of the painting.

The part of this painting that added the depth to the painting was the driftwood. It also allowed me to create the division between the background and the foreground, in other words, what is in behind the driftwood and in front of the driftwood. I want the viewer to be able to feel like they can walk into my painting.

I painted the sand and pebbles which made up the foreground in the painting next. This particular scene was from Honeymoon Island in FL . This area is known for the pebbles along the beach. I added white colors and depth with various shades of browns and grays.


I taped off the water edge to paint the straight line of the seascape behind Baby. After removing the tape I began to paint the rest of the water. Now the painting was beginning to have the depth that it needed.


Painting the water in this painting was the next step. Using the colors that I mixed I painted the water like it was moving. I used a layering technique with my paints to build the various colors and details of the water.
(Technique) I paint the colors that I mix, allow them to dry and then add more color on top. The paint will still blend in slightly but it is not thick.

Here is a closer look at the water Baby on the Driftwood.


The last thing that I painted on this piece was the sky. I wanted a few hazy clouds so that the main focus to the painting would be Baby Ward on the driftwood.
(Technique) This is the only time that you will see a large brush in my hand. I use a flat brush for the main part of the sky and go back in later and use a smaller round brush for the clouds.


After completing the painting, the foreground, the sand and the sky I signed my name. My name has always been the part of the painting that must be in the right spot. After losing Baby, I decided to add his paw print to my signature. This is the first paw print that I painted. I later found a better photo and used it as my guide. The paw print that is next to my name on the logo at the top of each page of my web site will be the paw print on all of my future paintings.

This is the final scanned image of the painting Baby's Driftwood.
It is also the very first painting that I did of Baby Ward after losing him to feline leukemia.
You may order giclee prints HERE or click on the image above.


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Working on the perfect sunset


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