It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote on my art class with half term getting in the way, and then the painting of Venice taking a lot of sessions.
In my previous post and the first class on Venice, we practiced the background wash, building shading and waves. In all honesty comparing that to the finished image really shows how much work has gone into it.
In brief (mainly because I’m not sure I can remember all the stages) this is how we worked this painting.
Starting with a fresh sheet of paper…
- the background wash used cerulean blue and yellow ochre for the sky, moving into cerulean blue/Hooker’s green, then Hooker’s green/cerulean blue for the water
- the skyline buildings started with a flat wash of ultramarine blue, and the shading/features added with a second coat or a stronger mix of ultramarine blue
- the waves/ripples on the water were done with various size brushes using the same colours as the background (smaller brush size in the distance, larger in the foreground)
- the body of the gondola was a Payne’s grey/ultramarine blue mix, this was blended down into the water to show shading and remove a hard line between the boat and the water
- the covers were painted with alizarin crimson and shading added with ultramarine blue which gives a purple tint when painted onto the crimson
- the posts were started with burnt sienna, and darkened with ultramarine blue and Payne’s grey, again the colour was blended down into the water to prevent a hard line
- finally, we used white gouache, which is a more opaque water soluble paint, to add the trim lines and the fèrro (the front bit which acts as a counterbalance to the gondolier’s weight), and then added a blue/grey line
After completing the painting I’d been doing in class, I though I’d try a second Venice watercolour at home – mainly because I had lots of leftover blue/green paint in my palette. I didn’t want to simply replicate what I’d already done, so removed a gondola and made the background more distinct.
Do you have a favourite?