Spanish Scene – Watercolour
This is a scene that I did in Spain last year. In 39°c temperatures out on location. The paint was dry before I had even mixed it. Just a very simple outline sketch.
For the sky wash, just one colour, cobalt blue. And I pre wet the paper first with my 1.5″ flat wash brush making sure that the blue was stronger at the top than at the bottom.
Once this was totally dry I pre wet the castle area using my No 8 round brush and then working very quickly drop in a little bit of yellow ochre, followed by a touch of Charles Evans sand and the tiniest hint of light red. Now wash the brush out, squeeze out and just help the colours merge, remembering that this is just an under wash, don’t go into detail.
Now to the distant hill, using the same brush and also pre wetting, pop on some well watered yellow ochre, followed by a little bit of light red and then a touch of cobalt blue mixed with light red. Again help the colours merge with a clean damp brush.
Once it had dried I used the same mixture of cobalt blue and light red to create a few bushy trees on the top line.
Notice I’m not putting any green in these area yet and this is fairy dry arid land and the light red serves to create some warmth.
For the trees behind the castle I used my No 8 round brush and started off with yellow ochre followed by hookers green mixed with light red and then finally cobalt blue. The cobalt blue went mainly at the base of the trees where they meet the castle. This all helps to push the castle out a little more.
Now using the same brush with a mixture of cobalt blue alizarin crimson and burnt sienna I added the detail into the castle which is also the shadow. Just a few touches here and there just to represent windows and battlements. Once they had dried a few stronger diagonal strokes to show where one part of the castle is casting shadow on the other parts. Notice also a little bit of shadow on the bottom edge of the castle where it meets the hill.
Now for the hill. Again its a pre wet using my 3/4″ flat wash brush, once good and sopping wet I put in firstly yellow ochre followed by Charles Evans Sand then light red and finally a few touches of hookers green mixed with yellow ochre.
Let it all blend and merge and if necessary help it along with your damp brush.
Once the hill had dried I switched back to my No 8 round brush and used mixtures of hookers green and light red, hookers green and yellow ochre to create some bushy bits growing up the hill.
At this stage decide if you need a few touches of light red to warm up the hillside slightly.
We’ve got a bit of an old ruin in the foreground. I used my No 8 round brush for that just to create a few stones. A bit of yellow ochre, a bit of sand and finally a little bit of cobalt blue mixed with burnt sienna for the dark areas. Give the effect of stonework with a few strokes of the dark mix but don’t go into too much detail.
Now still with the same brush on the Cyprus trees I went in firstly with a little bit of yellow ochre followed by hookers green mixed with burnt sienna all whilst still wet and finally cobalt blue to the darker side and to the base of the trees. Using the same mixes for the other trees but with more water so that these are weaker.
To the foreground. I used my 3/4″ wash brush and pre wet the whole lot with a very watery yellow ochre. Now to either side of the path drop in a few touches of light red and hookers green mixed with yellow ochre.
Remember don’t give too much of a grassy effect to this, there are no bright greens. Let it all dry totally before going to the final stage.
I made the tree trunk on the left very dark by using a mixture of cobalt blue and burnt sienna and my No 3 rigger brush. Create a few twigs but don’t go mad with them.
Once the skeleton of the tree had dried I then switched to my 3/4″ flat wash brush and used a mixture of hookers green, yellow ochre and cobalt blue. Simply tap on with the side of the brush to create a bit of foliage.
Now to the final shadow mix cobalt blue, alizarin crimson and a touch of burnt sienna and I think its fairly obvious where I put the shadow, in the foreground and to the right hand side of the path.
I think there is a real feel of warm and dryness to this painting. Quite a different one really I hope you enjoyed doing.