Watercolor Basics, Watercolor Project

CC Cathedral Project: A Different View

So, today, I finished another rendering of the CC Cathedral, an iconic Corpus Christi landmark.  Here is the reference photo:

When I started the wash, I noticed the bright sun coming from the upper left.  This also led some light to the trees in the front which actually becomes somewhat of a focal point.

Here is the painting when completed:

On this attempt, I think I’m starting to make some headway.  I really like how the wash and back lighting turned out in this one.  I started actually with a complete yellow wash, then putting in some deeper cobalt blue to the right and top of the work.

Near the bottom of the wash, I went with a standard green wash where the grass is located.  The white brick that is iconic to our WWI memorial that is very close to this site, as the cathedral sits on a ‘bluff’ the memorial is located just below.  It’s actually a nice area of our city.  This was a simple purply, white wash before I began working on the actual Cathedral.  I didn’t worry about the trees and worked primarily on the building first.

Again, there were times, I didn’t really like how the 2nd layer was progressing.  I’m always getting a little lost on the color and tones.  However, this seemed to work better as I continued.  I really didn’t get a true wet on wet wash for my 2nd layer, which is what I was really after.  I need a little more confidence and practice and must keep working fast to get that wash down.

I’m also beginning to realize that tone is certainly “king” and I’m going to try on my next few works, less color and more tonal variety.  In this work, I began to get a sense of sharper tones, darks on white, etc.  This is important to the eye and keeps the work appealing.

I must say, there was a time I almost walked away from this work and wanted to throw it away.  It just goes to show that in watercolor, you have to keep at it.  Don’t make any determinations until the very end and the “fat lady sings”.  Before that, anything can happen.  It will either work or it doesn’t.  Heck, it’s just a watercolor painting. . . .

So, to accentuate the trees, which I see as a major focal point in the photo, I used a sponge and lightly placed my shapes for the trees and foliage.  I then used my sable rigger brush and made the tree branches.  Just placing the subtly in the trees.

I then finished off with some dry brush strokes to give the cathedral some ‘drip’ and place some grass shadows from the trees.

All in all, I was happy when it was done.  I think I captured the moment.


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