Atmospheric Water Techniques

Misty Waters (watercolour)

Misty Waters (watercolour)

Still on the topic of water, I spent some time today catching up on a few online video tutorials. It’s good to make the brain cells work occasionally and I feel I’m slipping back into old habits a bit – I could do with reminding of some better ones.

Credit for today’s piece is due to a very well known American watercolourist, Birgit O’Connor, probably best known for her stunning flowers… the exercise pictured here, painted this afternoon, is directly from her video on waves, water and clouds. The first stage is a wet-into-wet background with the trees added after it has thoroughly dried.

My best lesson for the day was the way the trees were formed by holding your brush almost flat to the paper, touching the tip down and painting a line while simultaneously varying how much of the rest of the brush also touched the page. This is quite tricky and would be even more so if you didn’t rotate your paper so you can paint vertically down the horizon. I think it would have been improved if I’d used rougher paper so the tops of the trees became more ragged, but it’s still very effective.