Tag Archives: mixing transparent and opaque

Wednesday watercolour tutorial – 13

In this quick landscape exercise, I am using some of the same techniques used in my life paintings.    There are only a few basic techniques in watercolour painting.    The key is to master each technique and this only comes with practise. 


A friend and fellow artist sent me the beautiful gift of Schmincke Aquarelle Lasurorange translucent orange and so I thought I would try it out in this warm up exercise….and it is indeed a beauty. 

Frame 1

In this frame, I have suggested an horizon line and then wet the area above the horizon, leaving the paper beneath the horizon line completely dry. 



Frame 2.

I have loaded my brush with paint and introduced the colour just above the horizon line….allowing the paint to bleed.    For this I am using a mix of Cotman Dioxazine Violet and Alizirin Crimson



Frame 3.

I now introduce some of the Schmincke Lasuroragne and allow it to bleed to the top of the paper.   At the very top I have added a little Naples Yellow, which is a more opaque pigment.    I love the way transparent pigments work next to opaque pigments…again an idea to play with. 



Frame 4.

I now add some more juicy paint  (mix of Violet and Crimson) into the wet area at the horizon line.   Then I take a clean, wet brush and gently pull colour down into the dry area….note that I am leaving some areas of dry white paper next to the horizon line. 

This technique of using a clean, wet brush to pull out paint is possibly one of the best watercolour techniques….It helps to prevent muddiness!



Frame 5.

In this frame, using the violet and crimson mix, I indicate tree lines and field boundaries.     Note that I am leaving a lot of dry white paper.   I also bring some of the violet and crimson mix into the foreground for balance. 

It is also important to note, that I am allowing the paint in the sky to do its own thing at this point….I am not trying to manipulate the paint.  



Frame 6.

I now introduce some of the Schmincke Lasurorange into the foreground….Remember all colour reflects on its surroundings.



Frame 7.

Here are swatches of the colours used in this image.   Cotman series Dioxazine Violet, and Alizirin Crimon.   Schminkcke Lasurorange and Winsor & Newton artists grade Naples Yellow. 



Happy Painting. 

A Bientôt.