Bighorn in Watercolour – Finishing the Painting

In this series of lessons, I will be showing you how to make a watercolour painting from a bighorn sheep reference. In this session we will be adding final details and washes.

MATERIALS

  • Watercolour paper
  • Several small – medium soft brushes
  • Watercolour paints (anything you have to hand)
  • Water pot
  • Paper towel or rag

Reference Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/6Uh-fJizwlw

  • Following on from the penultimate lesson (Part 4) we will be continuing to add fur details using a smaller brush.
  • You should try to focus on getting as much variation in colour as possible (within reason).
  • You may also need to adjust some larger regions of colour and or tone as well as the relationship between different areas.
  • Think about the overall value statement across the whole artwork at this stage and make any necessary corrections (I had to darken the lighter part of the neck for instance).
  • It is best to finish by punching out the darkest notes (and background) to get the image as defined as possible.

Bighorn in Watercolour – Adding in Finer Details

In this series of lessons, I will be showing you how to make a watercolour painting from a bighorn sheep reference. In this session we will be using a very small brush to add more details in the fur and horns.

MATERIALS

  • Watercolour paper
  • Several small – medium soft brushes
  • Watercolour paints (anything you have to hand)
  • Water pot
  • Paper towel or rag

Reference Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/6Uh-fJizwlw

  • You will only need a very small brush for this stage.
  • You can use the same colour mixtures that you used for the previous passes.
  • Feel free to play around with colour accents though (dashes of more saturated or greater colours).
  • Look for details like the finer ridging in the horns or the fur.
  • Pay particular attention to what’s happening at the shadow edge as this is where more texture is apparent.
  • I also recommend that you try to maintain a reasonable amount of white paper to maintain a sense of luminosity in the picture.

Bighorn in Watercolour – Developing the Halftones

In this series of lessons, I will be showing you how to make a watercolour painting from a bighorn sheep reference. In this session we will be adding transitions and textures in the halftones.

MATERIALS

  • Watercolour paper
  • Several small – medium soft brushes
  • Watercolour paints (anything you have to hand)
  • Water pot
  • Paper towel or rag

Reference Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/6Uh-fJizwlw

  • Begin by adding the darkest halftones in gradual washes. These will be developed out of the shadow edge.
  • Try to avoid adding tone in the light areas for now as we don’t want to lose the luminosity of the image.
  • You can allow the brush to splay a bit because this will create a texture that emulates fur.
  • Once the halftones are in, you can go back into the shadows and start to lay some darker sections again.
  • This will likely be needed to create enough tonal space for the halftones to work.
  • Likewise, you can push the background much darker as well, because this will help to pop out the bighorn and enhance the glow of the lightest parts.
  • You can use wet washes at the edge of this dark tone to create a blurry transition.