Painting Pebbles and an Autumn Leaf

01 May, 2016 0 comments Leave a comment

Autumn Memory, watercolour by Karen Richardson

Recently I worked on this painting as a demonstration at a one-day Pebbles 1-2-3 class. Here is how it started:

Step 1: After drawing a crinkled yellow leaf as the focal point, I penciled in the pebble shapes around it, loosely inspired by a photo reference. Using neutral mixtures created from primary colours, I painted interior shadows in the pebbles. This starts to build the 3-D effect. The leaf will be left unpainted until the pebbles are completely done.

Autumn Memory, step 1

Step 2: Using a dark neutral mixture, again from the primaries, I painted the negative spaces between the pebbles. In the larger spaces I used a graded wash, to give the impression of an underneath layer of pebbles.

Autumn Memory, Step 2

Step 3: Using various combinations of primary colours, I painted the coloured pebbles. Since watercolour is transparent, you can still see the shadow layer showing through the colour layer.

Autumn Memory, Step 3

 Step 4: Using more neutral darks, mixed from primaries, I added the shadows cast by the pebbles and intensified the interior shadows where needed. After that had dried, I painted the leaf, first with pale yellow and then with darker golds. Finally, I painted the shadow cast by the leaf to finish Autumn Memory, 4.5 x 7.5".

Autumn Memory, Step 4

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