Well folks, this is the last painting of my second year of watercolor! 


This is number 14 in my studies as I prepare for a painting that I’ll be making on a full sheet. I think I’m close, but I want to try again, with more wet in wet work in the peninsula, and any corrections that are offered via the Watercolor group on Reddit.

If you are curious, here are my other studies:

Numbers 1-4

Numbers 5-7

Numbers 8-9

Numbers 10-11

Number 12

Number 13

After finishing number 13, I decided I wouldn’t take a bunch of progress photos as I painted number 14. But, I got too tired to finish it last night, so I worked on it a bit this morning before work, and hopefully I’ll be able to finish it tonight.

Painting it in stages like makes me feel like the painting ends up feeling disjointed. Whatever headspace I was in on Wednesday is long gone now… But, that’s life.

The benefit is that I had time to capture some in-progress photos.

Here’s the painting as it was after breakfast this morning.

When the Sheen is Gone

The biggest things I’m focused on are the reflections, and the ripples in the water. For both elements, it’s imperative that both the trees and the ripples are painted right when the sheen in gone.

Knowing exactly when the paper is ready can be tough. I tried to photograph what I see as four of the five stages of wetness for paper. These correspond to my saturation notation, which you can read about here if you want.

The paper saturation comes last in my saturation notation, so T3p is pigment at the consistency of tea, with a moderately wet brush (3 out of 5) on puddled paper. T3w is the same thing on wet paper, T3s is on shimmering paper, T3d is on damp paper, and T3b is on paper that is bone dry.

P is for Puddled

Puddled paper is so saturated with water that it actually forms a puddle. I should probably call this stage b for Bead instead… I’ll think on it. At any rate, I didn’t bother taking a photo of Puddled paper, because I don’t need it for this.

W is for Wet

This is wet

Wet paper is basically everything above the bead of water. This is as wet as paper gets without water actually rising above the surface of the paper. When the paper is wet, it’s best for painting billowy clods and generally anything with lost edges.

S is for Shimmering

This is shimmering

I say paper is shimmering when the water has absorbed enough that it stops moving. If you apply wet paint with a 1 or 2 brush, you’ll get soft-edged blooms. You’ll get hard edged cauliflowers if you use a 4 or 5. 

D is for Damp

This is damp

This is when you want to paint ripples and distant trees, basically anything that you want to have both weight, and soft(ish) edges. The paper is damp enough that the pigment will flow a bit, but dry enough that it won’t feather.

B is for Bone Dry

This one is self-explanatory.

Back to the Painting

I used Ron Hazell’s technique for rendering rippled water, which requires painting on damp paper, (A.K.A., once the sheen is gone.) So, I wetted the paper, waited, and added the ripples with a flat brush once the paper was at the right moisture level.

I then removed the masking fluid, and painted a few shadows and details. Next, I’ll be painting in a few of the lily pads, and we’ll see where it goes from there.

After the masking fluid was removed, I painted the trees on the peninsula. I didn’t want to do too much here, so I just added a few scraggly lines to suggest branches, and some ragged splotches of vegetation.

I don’t have time to write up any more, so I’ll just post the final here: