Wood Stork and Water Lilies Beginning The Painting

Painting the warm color highlights on the trees.
Painting the warm color highlights on the trees.

Wood Stork and Waterlilies Beginning The Painting – The pencil drawings have been completed so it’s time to mix paint and start painting. I’ll be using Strathmore 400 Series 140lb press watercolor paper for this painting. To keep the paper from buckling, I tape the corners of the paper to the corners of the watercolor paper tablet (see photo). At the top of the painting I tape hinge a tracing of the drawing so I can flip the tracing up and down several times without losing alignment. Then, I mark the top and bottom (height) of the painting on the paper with a hard 2H pencil.

Mixing Colors For The Sky

Wood Stork and Water Lilies Beginning The Painting - My three colors for painting the sky. Permanent White, Permanent White with a little Cyan, and Permanent White with a little more Cyan (darkest blue).
My three colors for painting the sky. Permanent White, Permanent White with a little Cyan, and Permanent White with a little more Cyan (darkest blue).

Now I mix three colors using Permanent White, Permanent White with a little Cyan, and Permanent White with a little more Cyan (darkest blue) using an Italian made palette knife that I’ve had for almost 30 years (see photo). I take my Robert Simmons 3/4 flat oval and wet the paper with a lot of water. Then, beginning with my darkest sky blue that I mixed, I start painting. Evenly covering the wet paper from left to right. Once two or three inches of paper are covered, I start in with the next lightest color. I continue that process until I have worked my way to the lightest color, Permanent White. When painting gradients, I always start with the darker colors and work my way to the lightest color.

Replacing The Drawing After Its Been Painted Over

Wood Stork and Water Lilies Beginning The Painting - Hinged tracing paper in the down position showing the drawing overlaid on top of the painting.
Hinged tracing paper in the down position showing the drawing overlaid on top of the painting.

After that gradient is complete, I flip my tracing down and draw over the next items to be painted immediately on top of the sky. In this case it is a tree line that will be added. I color the tree line the same colors as the sky to make them look far away. As I add trees that come closer to the foreground I will add less white and blue those trees closest to the front so that they will appear closer than the scenery in the background.

Photos of Beginning the Painting

Wood Stork and Water Lilies Beginning The Painting - My Robert Simmons white sable 3/4 flat round oval.
My Robert Simmons white sable 3/4 flat round oval.
Wood Stork and Water Lilies Beginning The Painting - Strathmore 400 Series 140lb. watercolor paper with the painted background.
Strathmore 400 Series 140lb. watercolor paper with the painted background.
Another view of the hinged tracing paper on top of the painting.
Another view of the hinged tracing paper on top of the painting.
My nearly 30 year old Italian made palette knife.
My nearly 30 year old Italian made palette knife.
The painted sky beneath the tracing paper.
The painted sky beneath the tracing paper.
The beginning of the painted skyline on the horizon.
The beginning of the painted skyline on the horizon.
A progression of the skyline.
A progression of the skyline.
A progression of the skyline.
A progression of the skyline.
A progression of the skyline.
A progression of the skyline.
A palette of new colors for the trees.
A palette of new colors for the trees.
A close up of my Robert Simmons #2 white sable round.
A close up of my Robert Simmons #2 white sable round.
More progression of the background and the water.
More progression of the background and the water.