Step by step watercolour demonstration
Painting a river and snow covered landscape in Watercolour. A step-by-step demonstration.
Below is a step-by-step demonstration of a snow covered landscape painting in watercolour.

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.
Linton, North Yorkshire - 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 distant hills and remove the remaining white areas of paper. A wash of very pale Yellow Ochre, followed by Cobalt Blue (for the distant hill) was applied while the paper was still wet as this gives a soft edge. The blue was also painted over the shadow areas and water.
Stage Two:
Working from background to foreground I started with the left hand building and then worked on the trees.

The building was painted in three washes leaving areas for the branches in front that had highlights on them. The trees were painted using three washes.

Light, mid and dark to build up shape/form and distance. The image (right) shows the trees on the left complete, the central group of trees have had two washes and right hand trees have had a mixture of one and two.
Stage Three:
The next section was the bushes and stone wall. The bushes had the usual light, mid and dark washes to create form.

The wall had a shadow wash painted (leaving areas for white highlights) on first and then the dark stones painted (two or three washes) leaving gaps to represent snow.

The two walkers are just simple washes using the correct colours and a shadow wash.
Stage Four:
Almost a repeat of stage three. But now working on the area of the stone footbridge that crosses the stream.

The bridge had a shadow wash painted first (leaving areas for white highlights) and then the dark areas of stone painted (two or three washes) leaving gaps to represent snow. One further shadow wash completed the bridge.

The vegetation was painted next with a number of washes to get the correct colour and then a shadow was applied. The reflections were painted at the same time.
Stage Five:
This stage involved getting all the reflections painted to create the effect of a slow moving stream.

The colours used were those used for the trees followed by a number of grey or blue washes to soften the edges.
Stage Six:
Like Stage Five, three washes established the cabin (light, mid, dark), with further detail washes for the window frames and adding some texture to the front and side panels. A single shadow wash was added to give more form.
Stage Seven:
Next came the painting of the far and near bank of the stream and the shadows created by the trees.

The banks had areas of grass showing and this was painted first, followed by darker areas for the bank and its reflection. The shadows from the trees were painted next and finally a clean water wash in which soft areas of blue were added to give some form to the snow.

Copyright:
Alistair Butt and third parties have reproduction rights.
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