Today’s warmup exercise:
The book from which I am learning, the Tate Watercolour Manual, Lessons from the Great Masters by Tony Smibert and Joyce Townsend suggests an exercise combining techniques from previous lessons. Below is my practice chart, wherein I painted 4 miniature landscapes.
The first step is painting a variegated wash using yellow ochre and a blue pigment to represent the sky. I experimented with different blues on another chart and found that French ultramarine seems to go well with yellow ochre.
After that wash has dried, I followed directions to paint in a ‘distant mountain range’. I used my left over ‘gray’ concoction from the first lesson, made up of cobalt blue and cadmium red light. I also tried a neutral tint. I watered down both pigments to give the appearance of distance.
The instructions then directed me to use all my colors to ‘variegate the foreground’, using different brush pressures to produce a variety of textures.
The book suggested other possibilities for the foreground, a large tree dry-brushed in, for example. I’m not that proficient with drybrush, so I used on of my stiffest watercolor brushes, but I probably used too much water. I didn’t really get a drybrush effect.
Not to forget the scratching techniques from Lesson 7 and the Storm, I used my knife to scratch in the trunk of the large tree and a razor blade scooting along my straight edge, to make the line of a lake. I modified the directions and added a very light blue to color in the region below the razor scratches to emphasize the presence of the lake.
I am happy to have a few more tools in my watercolor tool belt. They will come in handy for future landscape and other watercolor sketches I attempt.