Monday, April 10, 2017

Sylvan Shore

Sylvan Shore

Two weeks ago I taught a workshop on how to paint landscapes. For this workshop, I showed my students some fun techniques for painting foliage and rocks. The image I used to demonstrate these techniques was from Botanical Beach on Vancouver Island. This beach is one of my favorite places to visit and I have gotten a plethora of inspiration exploring these shores. 

To begin the painting, it was first drawn out on a half sheet of watercolor paper.  The sky was painted by first wetting the paper, then adding a wash of yellow and a red across the paper on a diagonal. The yellow I used is something new for me - Winsor & Newton's Transparent Yellow. The red is Daniel Smith's Quinacridone Rose. After I did a wash of the yellow and the rose in the top half of the painting, I then added a mix of Cobalt Blue and Winsor Blue to the top and bottom of the painting. This was laid flat to dry. 

After the wash was dry, I masked out the sky area and what I refer to as "sky holes". These "holes" are the bits of sky seen through the trees.
Then I splattered paint, starting with yellow, moving to green and blue and finally to a dark green by adding the rose to the green.  While splattering, I also sprayed the paint to get it to move and blend the colors. I also splattered some burnt sienna and cadmium scarlet into the trees while working with the different greens.

After the splattered paint dried, the mask was lifted and the rocks were painted. To do the rocks, I used burnt sienna and French ultramarine blue. While wet, plastic wrap was placed on top of the paint. This was allowed to dry and the plastic wrap was removed to reveal rocks. I continued to use the plastic wrap to create more rocks, leaving space between them to allow for the water and seaweed. These rocks were further defined by adding darker paint to create more crevices and shadows. Then the seaweed was painted with transparent yellow and Winsor blue, adding a touch of salt, to create texture. 
Finally I painted in the tree trunks to finish off the painting. 


  1. thanks for the progress photos, neat to see it progress :) the rock texture is perfect :)

  2. Love the colors and textures in the beautiful composition !

  3. Jennifer, I must agree. The rock texture is the best part.