“Venetian Watercolor Demonstration” Progression Images

“Dusk in Venice”

Arches watercolor paper 18” x 12”

Initial Stage:

Whenever I demonstrate watercolor techniques to large groups, I work with my painting surface in an upright position. For this demonstration, I decided to wet the paper a section at a time as I went along brushing in color with a 1-inch flat sable brush (same brush for nearly 25 years and still in use). To control the amount of water used to wet the paper I used a small atomizer (seen in my right hand). I would mist water onto the paper with my right hand a step ahead of my left hand brushing in color.

Step 2.

After spritzing more water onto the paper, colors are applied rapidly. The photo to the right captures the rapid movement of the brush perfectly… If you stare at the blurred brush long enough, you will! see the brush move. How long did you stare? Anyone for going viral?

Step 3.

I continue this process all the way to the bottom of the paper. For this step, I used Permanent Rose and Raw Sienna. These colors were applied separately allowing them to mix directly on the wet paper. The drawing shows up best in this photo.

Step 4.

While the paper is still wet, a brush fully loaded with Ultramarine Blue is brushed in stronger along the top and used only faintly towards the bottom. Once the background is complete, it is allowed to dry. The first layer of the buildings begins with a mixture of Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Rose.

Step 5.

I want the background to really sit back in this scene so I’m using neutral grays, gray violets, and bluish grays. To make these grays, different combinations of Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Rose, and Raw Sienna are utilized. I’m also paying close attention to my value selection, being sure to keep more distant objects lighter and devoid of too much color, detail, and texture.

Step 6.

After allowing the background and middle ground to dry, glazes are brushed onto previously painted surfaces. A transparent color (glaze) is painted over another color that was allowed to dry. Great care is taken so as to not lift the first layer of color with overbrushing.

Step 7.

Once the buildings are complete and allowed to dry, it’s time to get working on the gondolas. A mixture of Ultramarine Blue and small amount of Burnt Sienna.

Step 8.

In this last step, the docking posts and reflections are painted in with a synthetic, round-pointed brush. The same mixture from the gondolas is used. A mixture of Ultramarine Blue and Cerulean Blue is used for the tarps covering the gondolas.

Step 9.

Me with the finished painting framed.

Completed Watercolor

“Domes and Gondolas, Venice, Italy”

Watercolor on Arches 140lb Cold-Pressed Paper

18″ x 12″

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