First Landscape in Watercolor

First Landscape in Watercolor - student project

Here's my first watercolor landscape, demo 1. Even though I see mistakes, I can tell you I learned from them! Next one will look better. I used 130 lb paper, not 140, partly due to me not paying attention to directions in the first place. I opened a little box of watercolors that were in my studio, no idea how I acquired them, just thought I should open them. The second day I used a far better brush and tried to mix colors to resemble what Ron used. I really didn't experience the flowing wash Ron showed us. The 130 lb paper just soaked up the water so it didn't flow much. The cloud on the right wrinkled the paper when I added more water to get a flow and soften the edges. Now I know! But the cloud above it worked out better, and I had done that one before the lower one. I like the trees, shadows, yellow warmth, green tint and more things than those I don't like so all in all, it's OK. I finished it! Moving on. 

Day 2     For practice I lightly sketched some eggs my neighbor gave me, real green eggs indeed. The whitish one if from a Banty. I used a scrap of 130 lb paper, #2, 1 Connoisseur brushes. I'm getting better with the drop, moving it around, picking up with the thirsty brush, and blending with water when I don't want lines. Even explored making crisp edges and lettering. First watercolor I've signed, likely to frame it and put it in my kitchen. Thanks for offering this class, Ron!

I'm starting demo 2. Thanks Ron for sending me the starter packet! I drew this landscape on Canson 140 cold pressed paper you sent. I sketched it in pencil hoping I can erase lines later but my hope is fading. I need to practice sketching in pen and drop the fear of revising the image, just get brave and make lines. Later. The photo is not too sweet as I had to make it in evening sun on my deck. The room I have been using is too hot and I lowered the shades so this is not the right time to paint. Anyway, I've started by sketching the image quickly. Tomorrow morning I can start painting with demo 2. 

Ron, I need some feedback, please. I'm loving the puddles and moving paint around! Your directions are pretty clear. I stopped in my process below at 7:40 into your second part of demo 2. When you said to swipe blue or violet to add shadow to the center left mountain it didn't  turn out so well for me. Can you please advise me how to rescue the effect. I'm sure I worked wet into wet and tried to soften enough that I have insulted the paper a touch. And the taller mountain is too much the same hue as the sky. I don't think I should make the sky any darker. I'm walking away from it tonight, back at it tomorrow. Thanks!

Finished project 2. I followed Ron's sagacious advice "Keep going." (sounds like my violin teacher and I love the music choice on this video!) Here's my finished Demo 2 project. I like the way the mountains came out afterall. Let it dry! Then adjust. I learned so much in these 2 projects I can feel my neurons making rapid connections. It's not "what should I paint?" but "how will I manage the paint?". I found the puddle! Going to practice more before the California lessons. Thanks Ron!

After finishing this class I mentioned to a blog follower that I'd like to paint a photo she made of cherry blossoms. She challenged me to do it. How can I turn down a challenge from a friend? It's small, maybe 4 X 4 or less. I did get the drip going several times but the image is too broken up to get a continuous flow. I worked more on being patient and letting it dry before adding more transparent paint to blend hues on the paper. It was interesting to see how I could deepen the reds and brown-green hues. I see a little light to dark in the blue sky. This was way more detail than the landscapes. I want to paint it again - looser! Ron, you recommended I study Georgia O'Keefe and I like that she painted the same subject over and over for many years. I think I'd like to paint a much larger paper with a much closer perspective of a blossom working with the lightest pinks, reflections in whites, and darkening the pink in just the right way. That's a challenge! "I like that." ;)

And, Ron, I started demo 1 today in the California surf style. You'll see it posted in that gallery in a few days I hope.