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Members Project 45

Whistable Harbour in Watercolour

Step 1

This is the lovely busy little harbour of Whitstable in Kent. As you can see by the first image, I’ve done a fairly complex outline drawing. Take your time with this one, thinking about recession at all times, making sure that the boats and buildings get smaller as they go further away.
For the sky I used my 1 ½ in washbrush and Cobalt Blue from the top, all the way down, then I washed and squeezed out the brush, and sucked out a few clouds.

Step 2

Once the sky was dried thoroughly, I then filled in the row of distant buildings. These were all done using the no 8 round brush and a mix of Cobalt Blue with Light Red, of varying strengths (more or less water).
Step 3

Whilst these buildings were drying I turned my attention to the harbour wall. Now is the time to bear in mind that the light is coming from the right, because I used Raw Umber on the darkest side of this wall and then, on the lighter areas, Raw Umber mixed with Yellow Ochre, very watery. For the buildings to the right hand side of the harbour wall, I used Cobalt Blue and Light Red mixed, nice and watery, for the right hand side and then Cobalt Blue mixed with Burnt Sienna for the dark side. Just Burnt Sienna for the roofs. Whilst I had that mix of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna, I went back to the first row of buildings and put on any detail and suggested shadow, still with my no 8 round brush. But see where I’ve put the shadow underneath roof edges, especially on the left hand side. 
Step 4
Next is was the buildings on the left, stronger and bigger. Again the same basic warm grey mix of Cobalt Blue and Light Red, with touch of weak Burnt Sienna into the middle section. Once it had dried, I changed to my rigger brush for the few bits of detail that are within this. Notice the impression of corrugation on the roof with just a few squiggle lines of, again, the same mix but stronger. Then it was time for that big expanse of quayside which was a very quick and easy affair. Using my ¾ in flat brush, I prewet the whole area and then very quickly dropped in a little Charles Evans sand followed this with a few spots of Yellow Ochre and Light Red and also well watered Cobalt Blue. I let them all merge and run together (and if needs be, with the brush cleaned and damp, just gently stroked over and helped them merge).
Step 5
Using my no 8 round brush, I added the posts with Raw Umber with a touch of Burnt Sienna into it. Notice how the base of each post is progressively higher than the one before it. This creates your recession. And I used the same brush for the people and, to be honest, for these you can use any colour you want. It’s just their clothing. And now with a mix of Cobalt Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Sienna, I cast a shadow from the people and the posts and, with this same colour, a shadow from the lip of the quayside.
Step 6
Time to start on boats and water. For those boats in the distance, with no 8 round brush, it was just Alizarin Crimson for the hull. For the bits on top such as the cabin, which are white, have a strip of Cobalt Blue down the darker side (left). You could put a little Alizarin Crimson of the boat underneath as well for the start of reflections in water. I also did this with Raw Umber to reflect the wall.
Step 7

The two blue boats over to the right were painted with Cobalt Blue for the hull and then, with a clean damp brush, I lifted a little bit of paint out on each side of the hull. I then put a couple of buffers dangling from the sides of the boats using Alizarin Crimson. For windows in the wheel houses, I used a dark mix of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna. And of course a stroke of Cobalt Blue down the left hand side of the wheel houses. For any boatie type detail on top of the boats, such as masts or aerials, I again used my rigger brush and a dark mix of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna. Again, repeat underneath for reflections.
Step 8

For the boats in the distance on the left hand side, these are not too difficult because you are only painting bits of boat but they are stronger in colour. For the hulls of these I used Cobalt Blue and Burnt mixed, nice and strong. For the bit of red boat you can see, I put a bit of burnt Sienna into my Alizarin Crimson. And for all of the gubbins on top, it’s just the same as the windows etc. as you did with the other boats on the other side but stronger. It’s at this stage that I also painted the water using my ¾ flat brush and a mixture of Cobalt Blue, a tiny touch of Hookers Green and a tiny touch of Burnt Sienna. And with plenty of water in the mix I filled in the water area and also painted through the reflections. Then I quickly washed out the brush, squeezed it between my fingers and with the sharp edge sucked out a few lines for light on the water.
Step 9
I started off with the mast and sail of the big boat and I used my rigger brush for the mast with firstly just Raw Umber and then Cobalt Blue mixed with Burnt Sienna stroked down the left hand side to give the dark side. Then I changed to my no 8 round brush to paint the wrapped sails. These were done, first in Light red and then Cobalt Blue mixed with Light Redr to try and give the impression of wrinkles in fabric. With the tip of the round brush just think where you need a few creases.
Step 10
The hull was painted in using varying strengths of Cobalt Blue mixed with Light Red and, here and there especially the back of the boat, just Cobalt Blue. Then a very dark mix of the two colours for the lip at the top of the boat. For any lighter areas use weak yellow ochre.
Step 11
I started off with the buoys in this image. I used Alizarin Crimson mixed with a touch of Yellow Ochre. And then a spot of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna mixed at the top of each one. It was this mix that I also used for the rigging but changed to my rigger brush. Don’t get too bogged down with precision on this, just have a lot of lines coming down wards from what you would think to be the obvious places from top to bottom.
Step 11

Now this really is a matter of finishing off with shadow. For the shadow, again that mix of Cobalt Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Sienna. Nice and dark to the left hand side of the boat as it comes up against the quayside. I painted into some of the buoys which are hanging there. Notice the diagonal shadow at the rear of the boat. This all helps to give it shape and power in the foreground. Also consider that the masts are going to cast a shadow on the boat and on the quayside. Nice, long and strong. And finally, with the rigger brush, add a few ropes here and there with a mix of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna.
Hope you enjoy having a go at this one. I have to admit it’s not the easiest but well worth pushing yourself for.