I thought I’d take some photos of a recent watercolour I painted of two lovely dogs.
I used St. Petersburg White Nights watercolour paints on Arches cold pressed paper.

  1. I had several different photos to work from so I played around with various thumbnail (mini) sketches until I was happy with the layout and then sketched out the composition.
    I then used this sketch to very lightly draw the dogs onto my A3 sized sheet of watercolour paper (Arches cold pressed 300gsm half imperial cut to size)
  2. Next, I used blue masking fluid and a ruling pen to draw out the lighter parts of the fur.
    I’ve written about how to use masking fluid with a ruling pen in a previous post. I also used masking tape along the horizon line of the sea to keep the line nice and straight
  3. Once the masking fluid was dry I was able to put in the first pale washes. My greys are mostly ultramarine and umber, but I did add a little violet to the back of the sand near to the sea to suggest the sand receding.
    I painted the first blues of the sue with indigo and turquoise.
  4. I added some colour to the sky using cerulean and a bit of cobalt, letting the colour wash fade into wet white paper to create cloud shapes.
    I deepened the washes of turquoise and added some yellow-green to the middle of the sea.
    I added the eyes and nose with a first pale layer of payne’s grey.
  5. I took a bit of time working on the dogs’ coats, with greys, beiges, pinks and pale browns (using a mixture of umber, payne’s grey, ultramarine, yellow ochre and english red), getting the brush in between the masking fluid to suggest shadow and texture. I had to pay attention to building the shadows up slowly and making sure the brushstrokes moved in the direction of the fur.
    At this point I removed the masking fluid, but it was at too early a stage for the dog on the right and I had to reapply it.
      
  6. And here’s the final painting after lots of fur layering!

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