If you are after a new challenge, try your hand at recreating this beautiful poster by French artist Constant Duval. In this landscape project we will recreate a Lithograph (printed artwork) into a watercolour.
To do this you will need to master the 'Wash'. To get you started, I will show you how to tackle, two different types of washes. This is one of the basic watercolour techiniques ~ so if you are new to watercolour, this is a great opportunity to get to grips with it!
A wash is the application of paint (usually quite diluted) to create a larger expanse of paint than the smaller strokes you would use for mark-making. Washes can be used in a variety of ways, from tinting your paper, to applying backgrounds or creating skies & landscapes.
Depending on the theme or style of your painting you can decide on the most appropriate wash. This could be a flat wash (a single colour is applied evenly ~good for backgrounds or as the base colour of larger shapes), a graded/graduated wash (a single colour is changed in value ie.light to dark ~ good for skies), a variegated wash (Multiple colours are used and evenly blended from one hue to another ~ good for skies, landscapes & backgrounds) or a wet into wet wash (multiple colours are applied unevenly wet-into-wet ~ good for backgrounds or to apply base colours to larger shapes). In this project we will look at variegated and flat washes. These two techniques will be used to establish the main areas of the background.
Once the background washes have dried you will 'glaze' another colour over the top. Glazing is a really useful tool for muting, cooling or brightening areas in a painting. In our project we will use it in smaller sections (such as the sea) and in larger areas (such as the foreground). Glazing a colour across the top of a dry colour will alter the final hue (as the two colours overlaid will make a new one ~ think about it a bit like overlaying coloured celephone sweetie wrappers). This visual mixing of colour is not the same as physically mixing two wet colours together.
Most of this project will be created by working onto dry and layering colour. This will allow you to recreate the strong graphic style of Duval's work. To find out more about this project, take a look at the short video below.
Once your project is complete you should be well on your way to mastering washes and glazing and be ready to use them in your own creations!