Step by step watercolour demonstration
Painting a harbour at low tide with boats and buildings in Watercolour. A step-by-step demonstration.
Below is a demonstration of the Cornish Fishing village of Looe.

The copyright of this image is also owned by a third party with world wide reproduction rights - do not copy - save etc, or reproduce (repost, put in blog etc) this demonstration for 'any' reason.
Looe, Cornwall © Alistair Butt RSMA plus third parties
Stage One:
After the drawing was done on a stretched piece of watercolour paper the first thing to paint was sky, followed by some underlying 'light' colours into the other areas.

The whole paper was wet before applying the sky colour into the required parts leaving sections of plain paper to represent the bright high level cloud and before the paper dried completely the underlying or light colours for the foreground were painted, wet-into-wet but controlled.
Stage Two:
Once the above wash had dried, I started on the right hand hill with its buildings and greenery. The first parts to be painted were the light colour for all the buildings.

This varied between each but most where white buildings (but in shadow) while leaving highlighted areas (e.g. highlights on roofs) clear. Some buildings required a mid tone wash to small areas before moving on to the darks (mainly roofs and one or two buildings walls) and finally details like the windows and some guttering that stood out.

The greenery was three washes (light, mid and dark of the correct colours) working around the buildings, in places wet-into-wet but mostly the darker colour painted when the underlying wash had dried.

The left hand side was painted in the same manner but with slightly more detail being added into the buildings and due to the angle of light and buildings more colour was needed and added to roofs and stone/brick work.
Stage Three:
Working from back to foreground (right to left in this case) the larger harbour buildings and wall were painted next.

Following the same lines as the last two stages for the buildings the light areas were painted first followed by mid and then darker colours but increasing the level of detail again (window pains, people, fishing equipment etc).

The sea wall was a number of simple washes to obtain the correct colour followed by series of lines for the wooded posts lining the wall.
Stage Four:
The next stage was to paint the mud and pools of water. To allow for loose wet-into-wet washes I masked the highlight around the pools of water.

A number of colours were pre-mixed before applying the first colour and as this slowly dried further colour's were added to give a soft mud look. Once that was dry, areas of seaweed, stones and some ropes could be painted.

The pools of water were then painted and when dry any reflections from the boats were painted. Finally masking fluid was removed and all required edges softened.
Stage Five:
The last parts to paint were the boats. All were painted in a similar manor with light, mid and dark washes (using the correct colour for each craft) used to establish the hull shape followed by all the details (windows, cabins, buoys, masts, ropes etc).

Shadows were then painted for each boat and the final brushstrokes were a few gulls flying in the sky.

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