This is the next exercise in Ron Hazell’s Painting Water with Watercolor.
This exercise is supposed to tech me about painting fog. Unfortunately, I don’t think I quite captured the effect. I want the wharf and the houses and boat to be more obscured by the fog – which I think could be achieved by painting a more intense wash of the fog colors at first. I want to be a good student though, so I tried to follow Ron’s instructions – though I made a few pretty critical mistakes.
I started with value studies again. To be honest, I’m at the point where I want to be done with this book so I can move on to something else. The last chapters are the most interesting to me, so I don’t want to stop going through this book, but I admit I rushed a bit through this one.
After I did two value studies, I sketched the major shapes, and then laid the primary wash. All of the videos and books I’ve read say that watercolors dry 30% lighter, but I haven’t found that to be the case with these Daniel Smith pigments – so I photographed this wash wet, and dry to see the difference.
Once the initial washes were done, I painted in the big shapes. I think all of these initial shapes (minus the rocks) should have been painted with more Ultramarine in order to make them appear obscured by the fog.
I think my painting looks a bit cartoonish, and I’m really not a fan of the colors I used on the wharf – it just feels very amateurish.
I also lifted the structures in the background, but again they didn’t lift as easily as I hoped. I think this ultramarine is definitely more heavily staining than the one Ron uses.
Once I was done with those shapes, I added some ripples using Ron’s technique for painting ripples water. The more I do this, the better I understand how it works, and the better my results. Of everything I’ve learned so far, this technique is probably my favorite.
After the ripples were dry, I painted the reflections. Boy did I struggle here. The trick with the reflections seems to be to just paint them with confidence. One confident wayward stroke is much more believable, and more interesting than a few layers of carefully placed strokes. I also screwed up the reflection on the mast of the ship – that should be much more vertical. I’ll have to keep that in mind for the future.
When that was done, I added some small cracks on the rocks, and then added some blue shadows to the rocks on the right. I want to explore more with shadows – they really have a way of adding life to the image.