Christine Lashley - Fine Artist

Sailboat Lesson
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Step-by-step Watercolor Demonstration of Sailboat

1 - I first sketched lightlty with a pencil and painted light blue washes for water and sky. Colors used for water area: Peacock Blue (a Holbein paint equal to Windsor Blue - green shade, all others are Windsor & Newton), Windsor Green. Sky colors: Cobalt, Peacock Blue. See reference pictures used below. Note: All work is transparent watercolor, no opaque (white or other) paint has been used in any of the steps.

step 1

2 - I added other color for the palms and the far hillside. Colors: Burnt umber, New Gamboge, Windsor Green, Hooker's Green.

step 2

3 Continue to add color. I hardly ever wait for the paper to dry, because I like to keep moving throughout the painting, and I like the merging wet paint effects. Colors: above lists, plus purple. I start to add shadows to the boats' hulls and leave white for the bouys. I decided to add an extra palm tree.

step 3

4 More colors over the first (now dry) washes are added. Note how the water is darker now. I changed my mind about the foreground boats and just painted over them as water. Little skips of the previous color look like lighter water reflections. The wall gets some detail and rock patterns. The shadow is cobalt and purple.

step 4

5 Final details are added. I work on water reflections and details in the far hillside, such as tiny trees and houses. Areas are gently lifted out, with a damp brush, in the water for light reflections of the bouys. Boat details (rigging, etc.) are created. The boat's hull is given another glaze of shadow color (Cobalt, French Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber) and quickly blotted with a towel for the look of light glinting off the water and moving in the shadows. The wall is given a glaze of Alizarin Crimson, New Gamboge, and more Cobalt. Sepia is used to darken areas in the rock crevices. Note: All the whites seen are the white of the paper. However, after review, I wanted to do more... see the next step to compare.

step 5 - final (first try)
"Southern View", Watercolor, 9 x 12"

5 Final details revisited. I took the painting out of the frame, because I din't like the stone wall leading the viewer's eye right to the corner of the page! White opaque gouache was mixed with a little watercolor (yellow, green or blue) to make a tinted paste... and voila! a shrub on the wall makes a better design choice. I also used the same mix on some of the palm fronds. (Any color shifts in the rest of the art, such as the sea, are just an aberration of Photoshop tweaks. I kept all the other items the same.) This is an important step because so many people are afraid to "tweak" their watercolors when done. 

step 5 - final (second try)
"Southern View", Watercolor, 9 x 12"

reference pic