Country Road

Capturing a beautiful country road outside of town is relaxing and fun. If you are able to paint outside, your painting will look more spontaneous, and it will be more fun to do.  For the sketch, first draw the large, dark shapes and using charcoal or black crayon, get them dark, dark, dark and make sure the shapes come together or overlap.  Notice that one tree reaches to the top of the page. Also notice that there are “holes” in the trees.  This is very important for a realistic tree. Draw in the mountains, bushes and roads, and shade them accordingly.  This image, when complete, will help you see where to make adjustments and what values to use.  Keep all the shapes very simple. If you like the dark shapes, then the picture is a success.

Before starting to paint, slip a piece of wood or a book under the top edge of the paper and board so the whole thing is at a slant of about 1 and 1/2 to 2 in.  The slant will allow the paint to run down somewhat and will achieve a more transparent watercolor look.

Four colors were used for the tree foliage: yellow, light grn, dark grn , and dark blue, painting the light colors in first and letting all of them blend. The darker colors are placed mostly in the center of the trees, leaving the breathing holes.

I painted wet on dry for the picture, except for the mountains which are wet on wet. However the entire scene could be painted wet on wet.

Greens that are mixed from your yellows and blues are much more exciting and fresh and real than most greens from the tube. Try different combinations and see what you come up with. Perhaps make a small chart of colors to record the greens so you can use them again.

Be loose and quick with this.  Don’t over-think it.