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Moving Water

My steps in painting a river with rapids in watercolor.

Before I started my painting, I had taken some really nice photos of waterfalls in Central Oregon. No single photo had everything that I wanted to include in my watercolor. So, I attempted to combine the good characteristics from several different photos into a value sketch.




I’m trying to determine my center of interest in the value sketch. I think it will be the large rock on the right side.


Using the Waterbrush app I was able to see how my value sketch looked using various colors.





My next step was to sketch out the painting on cold pressed watercolor paper. I used Waterford 200 lb, cold pressed watercolor paper. After I sketched it out, I added masking fluid to the areas that I wanted to keep white.

I used Daniel Smith Artist Masking Fluid to mask the areas. I like this type of mask because it comes in a bottle with a point and it’s easier to make more delicate lines and detail work.


The masked areas of the painting are darker than the white of the paper.






I applied the first wash of color. I tried to keep it in the light to mid tones of the value scale.





After the first wash of color dried, I applied my second color wash. I introduced more detail in the shapes. I kept the masking fluid on during this second wash.





After the second wash I removed the masking fluid and decided whether I wanted to leave the area white or add some blended color. I used a size 8 round Vermeer Utrecht 221, Kolinsky Red Sable brush as well as a DaVinci Casaneo Quill brush. The round brush was used for most of the washes and the Quill brush helped me add texture. Most of the watercolor paints I use are a combination of American Journey by Cheap Joe’s, Artist’s watercolor by M Graham & Co., and Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour.






Lastly, I added more detail, built up the image of the water moving, and added more contrast and details in the rocks and trees.

I hope you like the final painting! I’m happy with it.






Thank you for reading my blog!!!



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