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Paint the Fog Horn in Steps in Watercolor

Start from Drawing

Tape your watercolor paper to a board with masking tape. Then, use either a table to prop your board somewhat, or an upright easel.

Draw your subject onto the paper. If helpful, you can make division marks vertically and horizontally with a pencil on both your photo and your paper. Use LIGHT markings since you will want to remove these later. There is no need to erase your drawing though.

Paint the Fog Horn in Steps in Watercolor

Prepare for Painting

Using a large Sea Sponge, wet the paper thoroughly. Then let the paper dry completely. While painting, your paper may swell or bubble up. This is OK. It’s the reason we need to tape the paper down. It will dry fairly flat

Paint the Fog Horn in Steps in Watercolor

Begin Painting

I started painting the background first, using a #12 watercolor brush. I left the white paper showing wherever I wanted white in my painting. I painted the strong colors first. I especially like Payne’s gray because it can go from exceptionally dark to very light. Soft edges with the white paper showing create the mood of fog on the water: Here I used Payne’s gray, violet, Prussian blue, and ultramarine blue.

Test your paints from the darkest to lightest values by using more and less water.

Be aware of "soft" and "Hard" edges. If you find hard edges in the "wrong" places, gently wet the edges only, to create soft and faded areas.

Paint the Fog Horn in Steps in Watercolor

Painting in Progress

To brighten the lightest value in the sky, I used lemon yellow light with a good bit of water.
Then, I painted inside the boat and both figures using Van Dyke brown, burnt sienna, a bit of alizarin crimson. To paint the outside of the boat, I used black added to these pigments. At this point I use a #6 Kolinsky brush and #0 for the details in the inside of the boat.

Paint the Fog Horn in Steps in Watercolor

Painting Water

I now painted the water with cobalt blue, violet, Prussian blue and a small bit of Payne’s gray. When the water area is totally dry, paint the reflections including the lines reflections, and the seaweed.



Paint the Fog Horn in Steps in Watercolor

Last Step

Hold the painting to the mirror to critique what you have done. Finish the odds and ends and make certain all is painted. Sign your name. 


This free lesson is provided by fellow artist and friend, Mary Churchill