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Turning A Famous Painting Into A Watercolor Study

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Step 3: Using 2 Common Techniques To Paint A Sky


Because of its transparent nature, painting with watercolors is almost always done from light to dark. So with the no. 20 Escoda round brush, prep some Brilliant Orange on your palette, then paint the sky. It’s okay to be a bit messy for this first background layer, as you will build other colors on top. Painting “wet-on-dry” (i.e. wet paint on a dry surface) also means you have to work quickly to prevent the paint from streaking.

While the orange layer is wet, drop in some Cadmium Red Purple to darken and get soft blends via this “wet-on-wet” technique. Paint the sun as well, then switch to Yellow Ochre and paint next to some of the orange clouds. Add more Brilliant Orange for vibrancy, and keep checking the reference picture to see where to place your colors.

For contrast, use Cobalt Violet Light and a touch of the orange to help the transition from orange to blue. Be careful when painting around the sun, as you don’t want it to bleed into your sky. Also, try not to mix too much water with your paints to prevent puddles from forming on your paper. If it does, you can lift the puddles out by wiping your brush on a rag and touching the tip to the puddles. This will soak up the extra liquid like a sponge without messing up your painting!