Christine Lashley - Fine Artist

Monet's Garden - Lesson in Watercolor

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Step-by-Step Waterlily Painting

Go To: Student Artwork Gallery

Go To: Watercolor Supply List

Big 'Basic Shapes' Idea

Follow Easy Steps

1 Look at the 'basic shapes' illustration, and start painting. You do not have to sketch this first. (See key for color notes.) You can also see some examples of this exercise in my 'student art' gallery.

2 Create a pale wash of WG + NG for the bridge and paint some stripes for the bridge. Mix a pale wash of NG + HG and add some reeds and lily pads, using Cadmium or NG for the water lily blossoms on the pond.

3 In the flower garden area, plan to save some white of the paper (you can always paint more later). Paint dabs of brighter color (purple, yellow, orange, etc.) for the flowers. Try to paint in clumps versus polka dots. Remember, if the paint is wet, your colors will bleed together.

4 Mix a pale blue Cobalt wash for the far background tree mass. Paint around your pale green bridge. Paint the 'holes' for the railing. This is called 'negative' painting.

5 Paint the darker tree masses on each side using the mosaic technique to add variety. HG +FUB, BU + HG, and NG + HG. When almost dry paint in the tree trunks with S+FUB in a dark mix. Cut around the flower clumps with your greens.

6 Paint the water in stages. Have a big puddles of Cobalt blue, FUB and some greens ready. Start with blue and paint under the bridge. Try to save some 'skips' of white for the glare on the water. Blot out w/a paper towel the reflected railings on the bridge. Make a darker blue for the lower water puddle and paint the entire area with stripes of color. 'Float in' while wet some darker greens and blues. Lastly, add some vertical stripes of dark brown when almost dry.

7 Use a slightly damp brush to swipe a few horizontal pale bands across the lower pool.

8 Adjust any colors, darken the shore. Glaze on some greens dabs for darker lily pads and flower foliage, beef up any flowers w/more color. Paint a very pale wash of NG+ Perm Rose in the sky.

C. Lashely, "Monet's Garden", Watercolor, 9 x 12"

Windsor Green = WG

New Gamboge = NG

        French Ultram Blue = FUB

Sepia = S

Burnt Umber = BU

        Hooker's Greet = HG

Tips For Success

- Know how to make a pale wash (made with lots of water) and a rich, dark wash (made with less water).

- Make full use of your brush. Push down to extract wet color for fat strokes. Use the point of the brush for thin strokes.

- Use a full range of values for your artwork (light - to - dark).

- Use wet-paint techniques for watercolor.

- Keeping your shapes simplified.

             - Use scrap paper to test your colors first.