Drawing of Venetian Scene
The first step of this Venice sunset watercolor demonstration is to do a reasonably accurate drawing of the scene you want to paint. I moved the odd object, for the purpose of better composition. Notice I have not drawn in the piers and anything on the water. These will be done in a more spontaneous manner after the water has been painted in.
I have also put a circle in the location of where I want the setting sun to appear in my painting. I often change the position of the sun in my paintings to alter the mood and atmosphere of the scene as you rarely can be at these locations at the right time to get that perfect reference photo. In this case I was in Venice in the middle of the day for only a brief visit. I did visit Venice for a couple of weeks a few years later but even then I was there at the wrong time of the year for the sun to set in this location. A good tip is to buy postcards while you travel as they give you a good idea of the types of sunsets and sunrises that are experienced in a particular location and act as useful additional reference material to your own photographs.
To get the perspective right in this painting, it is important that your figures are drawn in a higher and higher plane as they appear further away from the front of the scene. This is because the scene is drawn from the viewpoint of the top of a bridge looking down.
With the drawing for our Venice watercolor demonstration finished we can now move on to painting the sky and foreground.
Continue to: Painting a sunset sky and foreground with watercolor