This is a lesson on how to watercolor paint water and islands. It's a long lesson so its broken into three segments. The first segment is painted wet in wet, and when we are finished painting it the whole thing is soaking in wet paint. First we paint the bands of sky. A blue band top and bottom and a reddish orange band across the middle. We wait just a little while, until the shine disappears, and then paint in the islands. Fist the distant island using very little paint and hardly any water. Then we paint the darkness of the nearby water. It's dark because we are looking down at it and thus into it. Further away, our vision angle is very small, and at small angles water become opaque and mirror like. The distant ripples will go in later.
Now we start in the foreground islands. They are pretty easy, but you have to use a lot of paint. While the paper is wet, its a good time to blend the foreground islands into the water. The beaches are never really distinct anyway, but more importantly, the out of focus, "soft edges" in the foreground shadows lead the eye to the "hard edges" at the "center of interest".
The eye will always go to the edge of maximum contrast. Here its the line of vegetation which stretches, left to right, completely across the painting. Notice that line divides the painting into unequal parts. That the sky area is bigger than the land area. In a very advanced lesson on composition I will show you why that is so very important, but its why you are so attracted to this image.
Finally, as our eyes flow over this line, we discover the subject of this painting. The lighthouse is off in the distance, and you will usually only discover it after looking around. Notice how the lighthouse is way out from the center of the painting. That too is so important.
The final phase of the painting is "lifting out the lighthouse". We will do that by wetting the area it occupies, and simply picking up the paint with a little fresh water. In order to do this, the rest of the paper must be dead dry.
The map shows the location of each of the paints. The group on the left are the sedimentary colors. Those in the right are the non sedimentary colors. The palette is just a cut down ice cube tray.
...( sedimentary )
0 - Red
1 - Yellow
2 - Green
3 - Blue
...( non sed. )
4 - Cool Blue
5 - Warm Blue
6 - Warm Red
7 - Cool Red
8 - Warm Yellow
9 - Cool Yellow