Friday, March 28, 2014

Strawberries in watercolors. Step-by-step demonstration.

I would like to share with you the process of strawberries painting using watercolors.  I used multilayer watercolor technique, as it allows to create very detailed paintings.

First, I placed the strawberries in the way I liked it. I love the combination of red and white, so my strawberries are on a white background. Then I made a detailed sketch.

Next I applied the first color layer. I made it very light. I prefer to use the lightest tone of the depicted subject. I painted the seeds using the mixture of yellow, ocher and green.

 I would like to clarify a few points. Each layer is applied using a very transparent paint. Previous layer must be dry. The brush should be wet enough, but water should not drop from it. Watercolor should not be freely distributed on a paper. I remove edges of color spots with a clean damp, but not wet brush.

Then I painted shaded area of the strawberry using a mixture of burned umber and madder lake paints. I painted once again the light area with red color, leaving open circles around the seeds. Seeds of strawberries are in small depressions, so the illuminated parts of these depressions are very light and unlit - dark. That's what I tried to show, leaving the illuminated areas unpainted and using a very light gray (Payne grey) tone in shaded areas.

To show the shape of the seeds, I underlined them with gray from the shaded side. Thus, when light is coming from the top, the upper parts of the depressions and the lower parts of the seeds are dark.

 It is important, if you do not have a ready gray pigment, do not use black. It can make the painting look muddy. A nice gray color can be received by mixing ultramarine blue and burnt sienna.

I use the same gray for the next layer over the shaded areas of the strawberries. I do it in order to reduce the color saturation in shaded places. It is known that in the shadow the color of a subject is not only darker, but also less saturated.

Then I started with the leaves. First, I applied a very light green color using a mixture of green and yellow ocher.

Then I painted dark areas using dark green with the addition of ultramarine blue. And again painted shaded areas with light grey.

Then I painted the rest of strawberries using the same way. First, a very light tone, then darker. On the bright places it will be red (permanent red) and in the shadow - madder lake with burned sienna.

Then I added the shadows under the strawberries and the background.

There are many different watercolor techniques. I like to use this one because of the following reasons:

First, you can apply many transparent layers to reach the desired result.
Secondly, it allows you to create a very detailed painting.
Third, there is almost no possibility to make a mistake, unlike, for example, wet on wet technique, where you have to paint fast enough.

I hope you will be interested in this technique as well.

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