Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Three

There are many ways to paint an apple with watercolour. Yesterday, I reviewed two approaches. The first was to concentrate on values using a neutral colour made from Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna.

Step one (upper left) involved wetting the entire apple with clean water and touching in the darker wash right away. Step two (upper right) created the cleft around the stem. The third step completed the stem. The fourth step was the trickiest. All washes were allowed to dry. Then, a yellow wash was gently applied over the entire apple except for a highlight. While wet, the darker red streaks were added. When that dried, I added colour to the stem. Here’s a breakdown of the work I did on the stem (below).

A patch of clean water has been applied to the side of the stem. The water comes right to the edge of the cleft and the stem but extends upward past the top of the stem. The darker paint is touched into the lower part of the patch of water. The downward flow of paint stops suddenly against the cleft and stem but the paint dissipates gradually into the water as it flows upward.

Here’s another option (below) for the main body of the apple.

Step one (above left) is much the same as you’ve seen above. I let it dry completely and then re-wet it with clean water. While wet, I added an even darker wash. If you’re quick, you might be able to add two values in the same step; clean water, middle tone, darker tone. I did that below.

The apple on the left (above) shows more than one step. See if you can figure out the sequence. When it was dry, I added the red wash, switching to yellow in the lower part and avoiding areas for highlights.

I discussed one more approach to apples. Look at the three steps below and try to understand how I did it.

In step one (above left), I painted the entire apple, except highlight and stem, with a light green wash. While wet, I first added a middle tone and then a dark. It’s a more direct approach but takes practice. The cleft is added in step two. Be careful when putting a patch of water over a painted area! If you’re not gentle with your brush you might lift some of the first wash. I’ve completed the stem in step three.

Like most watercolour demos, there are many things I haven’t told you. Your paper choice is important. I’m using a quality Cold Press paper that is quite absorbent. I keep my sheet at the same angle, slighter higher at the top, throughout the process. I test my colours. If my dark wash isn’t as dark as I hope and has too much water in it, I’ll experience back-runs or blossoms.

Last Tuesday, many of the students started their watercolour paintings with an atmospheric preliminary wash and the results were terrific. I suggested the same approach yesterday and most of them applied an overall wash before developing the values over that wash. Once the values were dry, they ‘glazed’ the local colour over the various objects. Much like the first demo above except over a colourful preliminary wash instead of over the white paper. I hope I’m making sense. Have a look at the work from the morning class.

Tuesday AM Critique


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One Response to “Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Three”

  1. Stephen Says:

    Thanks Barry – nice tut – I just want to sink my teeth into that red apple…

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