Step by step watercolour demonstration
Painting a people and city buildings in Watercolour.
A step-by-step demonstration.
Below is a demonstration of a inner city watercolour with people with Eros (London) and buildings as the backdrop.

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.
Eros, London- Copyright - Alistair Butt plus other companies - reproduced here with written consent
Stage One:
A detailed drawing of the subject was produced on stretched watercolour paper. Before any painting is started all the white parts of the painting are masked (I use the colourless masking fluid from Winsor & Newton).

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 and remove the remaining white areas of paper. A light grey & blue for the sky and as the plain water wash was drying, the base colour's are loosely applied to the buildings, statue and people. Allow to dry.
Stage Two:
The building on the left was painted first.

A main wash to establish the base or background colour for the stone of the buildings (this was done for all the buildings from distant to foreground).

Masking fluid as used to mask the window frames and light windows then all the detail is added e.g. stonework, window reflections etc. I added this now so that the following washes would soften the edges, leaving the foreground statue and people sharper. If you require sharp detail add the detail after the shadow wash.

More weight and colour was added to the building but not the windows.

The masking fluid was removed from the windows and the whole area given a shadow wash. Followed by sharpening some details and adding the iron work in front of some windows.
Stage Three:
The building on the right was painted using the same process as used for the left.
Stage Four:
The painting of the people sitting on the steps around the statue of Eros followed the same method as the buildings. The skin tones (as can be seen on the foreground figure) were painted first.

This was followed by the main colours for all the clothing then details added like hair colour, fold lines in clothing, shoes. The masking fluid used before stage one was now removed from these figures and two shadow washes painted, the first adding more shape to the people and the second adding weight and creating the shadows.
Stage Five:
The painting of the statue followed the same process as stages two and three i.e. four washes. The main objective was to get the contrast between statue and sky and statue and buildings correct.

Some lifting out was done on the left side of the statue to create the fine mist spray from the small fountain.
Stage Six:
The figures on the right were painted in the same manner as stage four.
Stage Seven:
The final elements to be painted include the foreground figures (following the same techniques as before) and the shadows.

I used three washes for the shadow and then some softening of the edges, carried out as required e.g. around the legs of the foreground figure.

Copyright:
Alistair Butt and third parties have reproduction rights.
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Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for watercolour demonstration Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for watercolour demonstration Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for watercolour demonstration
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for watercolour demonstration Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for watercolour demonstration
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for watercolour demonstration Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for watercolour demonstration