Step by step watercolour demonstration
Painting a landscape with cottages and flowers in Watercolour. A step-by-step demonstration.
Below is a watercolour demonstration of a group of cottages with flowers.

Please do not copy or reproduce (repost, put in blog etc) this demonstration for 'any' reason.
Copyright: Alistair Butt and third parties have reproduction rights
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Runswick, North Yorkshire - Copyright - Alistair Butt plus other companies - reproduced here with written consent
Stage One:
The drawing was done on a piece of pre-stretched 250lb watercolour paper. Before any painting, the roofline of the cottages was masked (I used colourless masking fluid from Winsor & Newton). This masking gives more freedom for the sky and background washes. Next the whole paper area is given a wash with plain water and while this is soaking into the paper I'll pre-mix the first wash colours on the palette.

The first objective is to establish the sky. Two washes completed this, the first with Naples Yellow to the lower left (allowed to dry) and the second Cobalt Blue to the upper right. Note: being yellow and blue, a green colour can appear so watch where the two colours overlap.
Stage Two:
The background hill was built up of three layers. Starting in the distant (far left) with a blue/violet wash and as I came forward and right increased the amount of yellow in the wash.

The next wash or washes was to establish the different areas of trees by adding middle tone washes (mixtures of blue/yellow/raw sienna/cobalt violet) while keeping the feeling of tonal recession. The final wash was for the dark areas of the trees with some branch details added.
Stage Three:
Moving forwards to the line of cottages. To save time, as before, I used masking fluid on all the plants/flowers that were in front of the cottages. Using simple washes of colour (these vary in tone and colour) I filled the main areas of the cottages.

These washes become the background colour to the detailing washes to follow as can be seen on the right hand cottage. I started detailing here so I could establish the correct contrast between the cottage and the distant hill and then work forward and increase contrast.
Stage Four:
Working forward from right to left more detail was added. This was a series of small washes, some of two layers (darker windows etc) increasing the colour or tone of the first wash from stage three.

These washes establish the shape of objects (pantiles/stone/ woodwork on windows). Some plants attached to the cottages were also painted at this time.
Stage Five:
The last part for the cottages is the details and shadows.

Due to the position of the sun the shadow from each line of tiles was quite prominent so these were painted.

Next all areas of cast shadow were given washes using combinations of blue, grey, violet and warmed with raw sienna for areas with reflected light.
Stage Six:
For the foliage four washes were used. A light green (over all wash) followed by mid green (leaving light green leaf shapes) and the final dark green wash (leaving light/mid green leaf shapes).

The fourth wash of mainly blue for all areas covered in shadow. Note: each green wash used above varied in colour and tone from plate to plant and within each plant (they weren't three flat washes).
Stage Seven:
The path area, posts, chains and stones were completed next. For the most it was simple flat washes of the correct colour (for path and posts) while the stones need three washes (light, mid and dark).

Once the stones and path were completed and dry the shadow cast from the post/chain was painted.

Stage Eight:
To complete this painting the flowers were painted. To obtain the shape of the flowers I used three washes (again light to dark) of the correct colour for each flower.

In Runswick (located on the North Yorkshire coast) you cannot miss the gulls so I added some to the sky and the black kitten that passed over the path.

Copyright:
Alistair Butt and third parties have reproduction rights.

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