Thursday, April 9, 2020

Watercolor Painting of Wisteria at Mohonk Step by Step Process

"Wisteria at Mohonk" 11x14 watercolor by Mira Fink

Here is a demonstration on the process of creating the painting above, "Wisteria at Mohonk".  Please let me know if this is helpful and please comment and subscribe to the blog on the right if you want to be notified of future posts like this. 

From this photograph, I made a sketch in my notebook of my composition and color plan. I wanted to paint this because I love the lavender color of Wisteria and wanted to create the contrast with the yellow in the flower beds below.  I used a reversed L shaped composition with a center of interest on the top of the top of the structure.  I wanted to create the misty magical feeling of being in this garden with all the pastel colors and the background disappearing into the mist. 

After drawing the image onto my watercolor paper, I applied the first washes using wet on wet technique (see below). This means that I made the paper wet and then added the colors so they would blend together.  This first layer will establish the lightest washes. I didn't want all the background color to flow into the gazebo top, so I painted around this triangular area. 

First wash
After this layer was dry, I went back into some of the areas with more color establishing darker lights and some mid-tones. I used some white mixed with purple to create the lavender color of the Wisteria which I hope will create a nice contrast to the yellow greens.  I have left the background mountains and trees alone, but have built up the layer in front of it to create depth.  At this point, I am working some areas wet on wet and some wet on dry where I would like more definition, like around the flower shapes.

Second washes
In the next stage (see below), I add my mid-tones by using color with more paint and less water.  You can see this in top part of the painting.   I have added shadows under the top of the gazebo and under the foliage, and forms are starting to get more volume and definition. After this, I will do the same treatment to the lower area of the painting.  I am working more wet on dry at this stage (wet paint on dry paper).

Third layer of washes 

The painting will get finished by adding darker mid-tones and the darkest colors.  In the last stage, I am using the paint more full strength, with the least amount of water. I am giving some areas more definition and have added more color and details.  Some areas have even changed colors.  I have added some opaque white to suggest tinier whitish pink blossoms on the pink trees.  Details like branches and some leaves are added as well.   

Here is the finished painting. Hope you enjoyed this demo!  We are still in lock down during the COVID 19 Pandemic.  Please email me if you would like a private lesson on zoom, or a critique by phone or email of your work.  Contact info is on my website. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog to see posts like this in the future.  More art on my webpage.  See link above.