Earlier this year I was watching a video of a famous artist painting a watercolour of a bridge over a canal in China and decided to follow along. Now I’m nowhere as good an artist as he is but I think I learned a lot as he went along. I’m putting some of the steps below with accompanying images however my phone decided to delete some them before I could post them here, if I find them later I will update the post.
I began with a simple sketch, I was at a disadvantage because I didn’t really have a good view of what he was painting, only from what I could piece together from the YouTube video.
Painting tonally means you need to got down some colour to work from as a base and to get some interesting colours going on. So the first layer is just some colour, and colours really, just to get the tones right. And it is worthwhile making the colours interesting and not too even or else it is boring to look at.
I darkened the bridge and the buildings, at this stage it often looks too dark but you must be brave and persevere. I like this stage before you ‘turn on the lights’ as it were. This painting had a fair bit of gouache in it and was the beginning of my foray into gouache painting which I will document here soon.
Adding the darker reflections in the water helps to balance out the image and start showing that this actually 3d water there that is moving.
Finally added the fence in the foreground, and using white gouache indicated highlights on the fence and also on the people on the bridge.
This painting was successful, but I can see lots of flaws and I wished when I did it that I had taken a step back at first and thought about leaving more areas as white paper. However it was fun to do and was a good learning experience.