Watercolor Painting – Foreground for “Old Shearing Shed”

Watercolor painting: the foreground

We are now ready to paint the foreground for our watercolor painting of the old shearing shed.

The colors used:

A green, mixed with Cobalt Turquoise, Aureolin and a little Raw Umber to grey it off. Without the Raw Umber the green would be too bright.

Cobalt Blue mixed with Burnt Sienna for the grey of the sheds.

French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna of cream consistency for the splatter and textural lines on the foreground hillside. While these are the main colors I use for the splatter and textural lines, other colors such as the green already mixed would also be added here and there depending on how I see the foreground development. Because of the water component of watercolor painting no two paintings can ever be the same! For this reason you will always have to make some individual decisions when you paint your own version of this.

I started the foreground  under wash by first painting the sheds with the grey mix. I leave a bead of paint sitting at the bottom of each shed and quickly pick up a fully loaded brush (a fully loaded brush will drip paint when held vertically with the point facing down) with the green mixture and run it along the hill just below the fence line and under the sheds. At this point the bead of paint at the bottom of the sheds will combine with the green connecting the two shapes.

As I move forward I add more Raw Umber to warm and strengthen the tone of the mix. Notice how I kept a section of the foreground quite light by adding more water to the mix in this area. Also notice how I left a few areas of the original weak Cad Orange under wash showing through – these will later become highlights on top of rocks or in clumps of grass.

Once this stage of my watercolor painting  is done I add some splatter and texture with the French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna mix. I add even more paint and vary the color ratios in my splatter as I go to give it variety. The spatter has to be added before the under painting is dry or else you will create a whole lot of sharp edges – this may be OK for pebbles but not for this scene. The splatter should not be added to damp paper or else you risk creating mud and unwanted cauliflowers. However if you are painting textured buildings, such as those in Venice in Italy, then you may make use the splatter technique on damp paper – but it is still tricky.

Let this dry thoroughly.

Watercolor painting the foreground shed and ground
Watercolor painting the foreground shed and ground

The next stage involves painting the distant hill and the trees in this scene.

Continue to: Watercolor painting – the distant hill and trees