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Mediterranean Beach Scene

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Painting the first wash

Step 3 – First Wash

It is a real mistake at this step to try to do too much and define things too clearly.

Do not begin this step until the masking fluid is completely dry. Here you will apply a loose and wet first wash to the paper.

1. Do not pre-wet the paper. In this work you will start on dry paper.

2. Prepare colours in the deep mixing wells of your palette. Make sure your mixes have more water than pigment, I think of this mix as the consistency of a cup of tea. Set up wells of 6 basic mixes; Cobalt Blue with a little Winsor Blue, Cerulean Blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Cobalt Violet, and Cadmium Orange.

3. I have used a large (size 5) squirrel mop brush for the first wash. These brushes are ideal when you start on dry paper; they hold a lot of pigment and water and do allow fine work for edges or going round parts of the paper.

4. The sky needs to reflect the heat of the day and for this reason I have used warmer colours near the horizon. Use your blue mix at the top and as you near the horizon, add a little Cadmium Orange. Let the mixes run, and avoid any hard edges.

5. Whilst the sky is wet, use a tissue to lighten some parts where clouds may be. As you can see from my wash, I got a ‘cauliflower’ in the sky. If this happens don’t do anything to try to get rid of it in this step at all, we will deal with it later if it needs attention.

5. The distant hills are a mixture of Burnt Sienna and your blue mix. Apply the two colours separately and let them mix on the paper, and don’t worry about colours running into other washes. Make sure you paint around the light umbrellas and people (the masking fluid will help here).

7. The Sea is Cerulean Blue. I painted the Cerulean Blue wash and then added the light strip across the water later using a dry brush. Take a dry brush and use it to soak up the wash in a band across the sea.

8. The beach is mainly Raw Sienna but add Cobalt Violet as you near the front edge of the paper. Again paint around the clusters of people, bags and umbrellas.