This is the reference photo for the watercolour painting. A view of the Avon River, which runs through our beautiful city of Christchurch , New Zealand.
We first apply masking fluid to preserve the white paper for the white houses and the tree trunks in the background on the far bank of the river.
Allow the masking fluid to dry completely and then lightly wet the whole paper. Apply a weak mix of cobalt blue to the sky and river areas. This way the colours of the sky will be repeated in the water colouring.
I also applied some raw sienna on the right for tree foliage , adding burnt umber at the top while the first raw sienna was still damp.
We will be using raw sienna, burnt umber, light red and a dark grey made from ultramarine and burnt umber.
First lightly wet the area you will be working on with clear water. Paint the water carefully around the tree trunk and at the bottom where the area meets the river bank. At the top wet a higher area than we will using.
Drop in some raw sienna first this will be diluted with the wet paper, then randomly apply small dabs of light red and small dabs of burnt umber, the dark grey is used at the top near the tree trunk.
By not applying paint right up to the top of the wetted area we will get a soft edge as the paint disperses in the upper wetted area.
The branches and trunks of the distant trees were suggested by painting in using a rigger with a stronger mix (less watery) of burnt umber.
The stronger mix will not disperse , just soften slightly.
After allowing to dry, I rewet the area between the large branches of the tree and where the branches meet, added a mix of burnt umber and a touch of light red.
I painted the roof of the house using burnt umber and mixed a blue green using ultra marine and raw sienna and painted in the fir trees behind the house softening the edge where the trees meet using a damp brush.
Along the bank I first painted the waters edge with burnt umber and added the greens above while the umber was still wet so the two colours blend together. Then added a touch of yellow and small spots randomly placed.
This closeup shows the numerous colours which have all blended softly together because they were applied wet into wet.
Closeup showing detail of river bank and trees and the roof of the house. All loosely painted in.
Progress so far.
Next we need to wet the upper area above the far river bank where we will paint the foliage of the tall trees.
Do not wet the area where the foreground trunks are situated, paint the clear water carefully along the edge of these.
We need to apply several colours onto the wet surface and allow them to merge.
I used raw sienna, burnt umber , light red, and alizarin crimson.
Be careful with the crimson it is a very strong colour. Vary the colours and apply lightly onto the wet paper.
Using a green mix, paint in the hedge along the side of the steps.
Also paint the shrub using yellow with a touch of light red.
This will give an autumn colour.
Mix up a light yellow green using ultramarine and lemon yellow. Also have some burnt umber ready as well.
Paint in the far river bank. While this is still wet, paint burnt umber along the water edge and allow it to soften in the original green wash.
Also lightly paint the tree shadows.
Add more ultra marine to darken the green and paint in far shrubs at rear of river bank.
The roof is painted using raw sienna.
Make sure the paper is completely dry and then rub off the masking fluid with your finger to reveal the whites for the trunks and houses.
Closeup showing the white paper that has been preserved by the application of masking fluid before we started painting.
Using raw sienna paint in the tree trunks. Then add some burnt umber to the raw sienna mix and paint in some branches.
Do not paint continuous ones as they will only show here and there, some parts of the branches will be hidden by the foliage.
Closeup showing trunks and branches.
Extra fine branches added using a rigger brush and burnt umber.
We now use a dry brush technique using light red and burnt umber.
Hold the brush horizontal and drag across the surface so you get an intermittent touching as it runs across the rough surface. Change colour and repeat the process so that a broken coverage is obtained with the two colours blending where they overlap.
Make the colour strongest at the bottom by applying more than you do at the top.