1 – The Sketch
- Tape down the watercolor paper on a flat surface.
- Sketch the main lines of the drawing without sitting too much on details: what’s important is you create some guidelines to follow. Start with mountains shape and the line between the beach and the sea. Try to add some humans just to get an idea of their proportions compared to the whole paint.
- Before you start picking up the brushes let’s setup the colors we want to use. We are going to need three different mixtures:
Mix 1) Yellow Ochre + Cadmium Yellow + Golden
Mix 2) Payne’s Gray + a blue color like Cobalt Blu or Ultramarine + a tiny bit of red/pink like Carmine
Mix 3) very light Payne’s Gray + Raw Sienna
2 – The Sky
- Wet the paper and wait 30 seconds before you apply colors. When the paper is ready (sheen of water without puddles) start painting the bright parts first.
- Use Mix 1 and Mix 3 to start, taking care not to cover the entire sheet and most importantly to leave out a circular shape over the mountain on the left that’s going to become the sun at sunset. While the paper is still wet you can use a tissue to remove the color and be sure the sun’s white area stays clean. Let’s add some orange/red signs to the mix to create different colors for the lights.
- Wait a few minutes for the paper to absorb the color and just before it dries up add Mix 2 shaping the clouds. Before you apply the color be sure to check the quantities of water and pigment, the pigment needs to be dominant or the strokes are going to bring around our first layer while you paint them.
- Use the very same Mix 1 to paint on the line between land and water after wetting the paper on the area. This is going to give the illusion of the sky reflected on the wet sand.
3 – Mountains
- Let the sky dry completely and only then start painting the mountains.
- Start with the farthest one and to simulate the sunbeams hitting the rocks create a circular gradient: the center needs to be almost white and gain color while you move towards the edges. The color is our Mix 1 together with some Payne’s Gray added more and more during this process. Remember this part of the painting is far away from the viewer so don’t put too much color in it.
- When the first mountain has dried up move on to the next one using Payne’s Gray and Sepia without going nuts with them because we still need a darker value for the nearest lands.
4 – Beach and Sea
- The mix i used for the beach is Quinac. Lilac + Payne’s Gray + Sepia.
- Use the color to paint the beach and add Raw Sienna and Payne’s Gray to create some shades. When you get near the seashore drag the color with the side of your brush to create a texture that reminds water retreating from the beach. Splatter some Payne’s Gray drops on the beach to create variations.
- Repeat the beach process mirrored using Payne’s Gray and a blue color to paint the sea and be sure to leave some white areas. The lines shaping the sea need to become smaller and smaller the more you move away from the viewer. Add some highlights with White.
- Use a black fineliner to draw the people (if you’re missing it you can use your brush and Payne’s Gray). Add more details to the ones on front compared to the people in the background.
- Sign the paint and it’s done!
If you try this painting remember to tag me on Instagram (do it on the photo, not in the caption! This way i won’t miss it) with @chiaramazzetti.art and put the hashtag #chiaramazzettitutorial, i’d love to see what you create!
List of watercolor names (based on the brand i used for this painting: White Nights Nevskaya Palitra)