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Happy New Year!

It’s time to blow those Christmas cobwebs away and get down to some serious painting business!

The first watercolour tutorial of 2024 is now available to subscribers - so grab your brushes (be they old or new Christmas gifts) and let’s get painting!

In this tutorial we are going to tackle a landscape. This one is a stylised scene which I have developed from an original photograph taken on Porlock beach in Somerset.

I’ve selected this image as I just love the smooth, round jumble of stones and the way the water meanders through them, leaving shallow rivulets in the sand.

To stylise the landscape I decided to create a panoramic composition - this is a fab way of instantly creating a greater sense of space. More space helps to add a quietness, which is enhanced further by using a muted/limited colour palette.

The last little stylisation trick is to use a fine line pen to outline the shapes. This gives it the look of a Japanese woodblock or Anime illustration. Adding in foreground rocks which escape the edge of the painting not only help to lead you into the landscape but add to the anime look too.

To enhance the sense of space we will use a trick called ‘aerial perspective’ this is a method of using cooler, muted colour in the background - this helps the shapes to recede.

As you can see from this example, this is what happens in real life when atmospherics interfere with the light and create layers which appear to fade in the distance. Notice how the colours also cool with a blue hue the further away they are.

To help our background to recede even further, we will keep the background drawing in pencil.

To find out more about this tutorial take a look at the short video below.

Why not try these simple tricks on one of your own landscape photographs. To enhance the Japanese vibe further you could create a portrait composition by elongating the painting along the vertical axis.

Happy Painting!

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