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Members Project 41

French Boat

Step 1

This is a project I actually painted on location in France.  Here and there you might see a little bit of shadow cast across the paper.

At this point I would normally say a simple outline drawing. But I must confess, Its not simple, namely the boat being the difficult shape. But pay close attention to the curve at the top of the hull from front to rear, get that curve in and the rest will follow. The cabin and various bits of clutter I added in once I got the hull drawn.

The buildings behind are very much simplified.

Step 2

A very simply sky ash in this one, using , 1.5″ flat wash brush pre wet the entire sky area with clean water and then stroke in a fairly strong cobalt blue, getting slightly weaker as it comes into the bottom, and I didn’t even both with clouds.
Step 3

Once this had totally dried I changed to my No 8 round brush and painted the buildings. Using fairly weak raw umber to block in the building to the left, then a tiny touch of weak light red just to indicate the shape of the roof. The lighter building to the right I used Charles Evans Sand with a tiny touch of cobalt blue in it. For the roof, a very well watered raw umber.

Once the roof had dried I pulled a few strokes downwards with the tip of my brush, just to give the impression of a corrugated roof. For the shadow on these, I used a mixture of cobalt blue, alizarin crimson and burnt sienna, notice the strong dark lines underneath the roofs and also that I had painted around the structure on top of the distance bush. 

Finally in this area all the greenery I pre wet all the trees with just clean water and whilst all still soaking wet using my No 8 round brush, I dropped in yellow ochre, followed by hookers green mixed with yellow ochre and finally just cobalt blue at the side of some of the trees.  Paying close attention to around the building with the blue

Step 4

The distant boat was painted using cobalt blue mixed with burnt sienna, just about black. Much more water into it to the right hand side than to the left hand side. At this point I also dragged this down below the boat to create reflection. That little red triangle at the front was done with alizarin crimson.

To the top bit of the boat, I added just very well watered cobalt blue to the left leaving the right hand side white. Now for any detail on that boat I changed to my rigger boat, coablt blue with burnt sienna and raw umber, leaving a little bit of white paper showing through here and there.

Finally to the reflection of the bushy bits, hookers green and yellow ochre, don’t fiddle with these, just drop them on. 

Step 5
I this image I painted the building behind first, first it was cobalt blue mixed with light red for the roofs, leaving a little bit of light to the right hand side on the first roof. For the darker side of these white buildings, it was just coablt blue mixed with a touch of burnt sienna leaving the whiter side just white.

For the yellow coloured building, this was Charles Evans Sand with a tiny touch of yellow ochre.  The same mixes as before for the roof but a heck of a lot weaker.

Then it was time for the same shadow mix as before underneath the roof lines, cast by the tall chimney. Also notice on the yellow building I have indicated shadow from the boat. 

Now its time to start on the boat itself.

For the cabin the main colour was cobalt blue with a tiny touch of hookers green. Stronger to the left and a heck of a lot more water in for the right hand side.

For the woodwork, raw umber with a tiny touch of raw sienna.  Again weaker to the right. For the window panes, again cobalt blue mixed with burnt sienna, not too strong. Notice this time I have painted inside the main cabin using the same mix.

Now let this all dry before turning to the hull.

Step 6

Now for the hull. All of the light areas are done with Charles Evans Sand and my No 8 round brush.

The dark bits were painted with coablt blue mixed with burnt sienna, just about black. And that section was a very big but simply one.

Step 7

Repeat the colours below the boat in a fairly rough and ready manner, not being too precise, to start the reflection on the boat. Then I went back to the main cabin of the boat and with a mix of coablt blue and burnt sienna I glazed over the windows of that so that now it looks like you are looking inside the cabin.

With a bit of the black mix and my rigger brush I painted the detail on the rudder and on the railing on the boat. Now back to the shadow mix which is cast by the rudder on one part of the boat, underneath the overhang on the top part of the hull. Then a general weaker glaze of the mix to the rear of the boat. Notice at this stage that the cabin also has shadows in the windows and underneath the roof just like a building.

At this stage I used my No 8 round brush with a couple of downward strokes to do the wall of the dock side, repeat this underneath for reflection.

Step 8
I used my 3/4″ flat wash brush for all of the water and with a mix of coablt blue the tiniest touch of hookers green and the tiniest touch of burnt sienna and plenty of water into the mix, simply stroke across going over all the reflections that you have painted before. Remember if you linger and take too long about this you will disturb all of the reflections you painted and move them as apposed to just softening them.


Now wash out my brush, squeeze out using my fingers and suck out a few lines of paint to indicate a little bit of light on top of the water.

Step 9

Once all of this was totally dry I changed to my rigger brush and a mix of cobalt blue and burnt sienna and a squiggly line for reflections from the distant boat, a swoop from boat coming out of the painting for the ropes. With this same mix I painted a strong dark shadow from the boat onto the little wall behind it.

And there we go, moored boat in France. I hope you enjoyed having a go at this, I certainly enjoyed painting it on the day, because afterwards I got pizza and wine.