This month I had the opportunity to draw upon my knowledge of watercolour – with a thoughtful commission using the photo below.
It was for the customer’s wife’s birthday and captures a day out at the beach – a happy memory.
I specialise in landscape/nature, so wasn’t sure how this would come out. But I researched the beach and decided to extend it a bit in my the painting.
After drawing the outlines, I masked out the figures with masking fluid and painted the sky, beach and waves and reflections in between. It was only when the setting was done that I got to the equally fun part of taking off the masking fluid. Anyone who enjoys picking off dried PVA glue will enjoy this video.
Then I was able to get on with painting the people and getting in all those lovely details and shadows. The great thing about watercolour is its freshness. Letting the white of the paper shine through is essential. and not being too heavy-handed with pigment is important too – everything is so fresh and delicate, and layers can be built up.
I really loved doing the reflections in the water.
Another good thing about painting is that you can take out things that you can’t take out in a photo, like random strangers in the background frolicking in the waves. I was able to just let the whole scene be a tranquil family moment.
I also really enjoyed getting skin-tones exactly right and the effect of the shadows. I felt like I was actually there!
Do you have a photo that would make a good watercolour? Let me know and we’ll see if I can do it. Please note that I don’t do dog portraits (but I could include a dog in a favourite scene in nature, for example). Prices start at £40.