Bighorn in Watercolour – Laying in Darker Colours

In this series of lessons, I will be showing you how to make a watercolour painting from a bighorn sheep reference. In this session I will be showing you how to lay in some darker tones / colours in order to separate the shadows and lights more clearly.

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

  • I would begin with the background as this will help separate the bighorn from its surroundings.
  • Use a fairly big brush for speed (and to avoid adding too much detail too quickly).
  • If there are any suggestions of shapes or colour shifts, you can go ahead and suggest them – in a fairly blurry manner ideally (using wet into wet brushwork).
  • Once the background is in place you can start washing darker tones over the subject in shadow.
  • Colours may vary; the horn shadows are much yellower and warmer than the cooler tones of the fur in shadows for example.
  • You can finish by swapping to a smaller brush and adding some more specific dark notes and define the shadow edges more definitively.

Bighorn in Watercolour – Initial Wash Painting

In this series of lessons, I will be showing you how to make a watercolour painting from a bighorn sheep reference. In this first session we will be going straight in with a watercolour wash.

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 using extremely diluted watercolour with your biggest brush.
  • It doesn’t matter what colours you use really, as this initial pass of paint will be so light.
  • Try to keep your lines simple as you feel out the proportions.
  • Make sure to correct anything that is wrong as soon as you notice. The fewer proportion mistakes at this stage, the easier it will be to continue with the rest of the piece.
  • Once the general shapes are blocked in, you can use the diluted paint to start massing in the darker shadowy regions of the piece.
  • Then you can use the smaller brush to start developing more specific details across the piece.
  • You can make the paint less diluted for this stage (not super dark – just slightly darker than the first pass over).
  • If you have got pretty good proportions from the first two stages, you should find it a bit easier / more relaxing to start laying in details.

Detailed Brush and Pen Drawing – Final Touches

This is a series that will show you how to make an artwork in ink using a mixture of brushwork and pen. In this session you will learn how to add final details to finish the piece off.

You can use the same reference as me by downloading it here: https://i1.wp.com/drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/P1090849.jpg

Materials

  • Watercolour paper
  • Small soft round brush
  • Indian ink
  • Water pot
  • Pencil
  • Use a very small brush to add very small details.
  • You don’t need to change anything drastic – just add to what is already there.
  • Use a mixture of lighter, washier tones and richer, darker tones with less diluted ink.
  • Pay particular attention to the textures that occur where the forms are turning from light to dark as this is where they will be most pronounced.
  • You can add details in the darker areas as well.
  • At this stage we are working over the entire piece as one thing.
  • That’s it! You should have completed a lovely ink piece in pen and brush 🙂

Detailed Brush and Pen Drawing – Bolder Accents

This is a series that will show you how to make an artwork in ink using a mixture of brushwork and pen. In this session we will be darkening the accents in the shadows to increase contrast.

You can use the same reference as me by downloading it here: https://i1.wp.com/drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/P1090849.jpg

Materials

  • Watercolour paper
  • Small soft round brush
  • Indian ink
  • Water pot
  • Pencil
  • This time we will be using less diluted ink in order to make sure that the darker tones are extra punchy.
  • Start with the parts of the shadows that are near black and then work your way towards lighter shadows.
  • This is still somewhat ‘glazing’ based as the ink will still be slightly transparent as it dries.
  • Take advantage of this by applying a few passes of ink to soften gradations.
  • You can also begin to add more refined textures where necessary.
  • We will be continuing to add more textures with a small brush next week as we move towards completion.