2 Ways, 1 Mission: A Historical Watercolor Painting Of Mission San Juan
Step 2: Painting In Value
Prop your paper block on an easel or thick book, so it angles at about 30º. With the no. 12 round brush, dilute Neutral Tint on your palette, then paint the mid-tones. Leave areas white as your lightest value, and feel free to have some white spots showing through on the building’s walls.
Switch to a darker tone for the palm trees, and switch to a fan brush to paint the palm fronds and foliage. For the darker areas, use a very saturated Neutral Tint and a no. 8 round brush to get some of the details, such as the archways and windows. For the thinnest details, use a no. 6 rigger brush, and make sure to get some tiling and shadow details around the roof area. To paint the sky, wet it with clean water using a no. 12 rigger brush, before adding a tone via this wet-on-wet method. For the darkest parts, you can add an additional layer of Ivory Black for more contrast.
In this manner, finish painting your grayscale study, making note of the values (i.e. light vs dark) in your historical watercolor painting. It will be a helpful guideline to refer to when you’re working in full color!
Below is a close-up of Bill’s grayscale building: