How to Paint Sand, Stones, & Leaves in Watercolour

13 July, 2015 1 comments Leave a comment

I've taught my watercolour students how to paint stones and leaves many times, as they are some of my favourite subjects, and my students love them as well. But for the first time this spring, we added a new twist to two of my workshops, by painting a scene with these familiar objects on a bed of sand.

We started out by choosing actual stones and dried leaves and making a balanced composition with these objects on our 300 lb. watercolour paper, as shown below.

Using adhesive shelf paper and masking fluid, we protected the shapes of each object on the watercolour paper.

Then we painted the sand using fun, messy techniques like spattering masking fluid and paint, spraying with water, and tilting the paper to make colours run and mingle.

Once the sand layer was dry, we removed all shelf paper and masking fluid and painted the first value layer on the stones, and the cast shadows of each object, as shown below.

While the stones dried, we painted the leaves (shown below) and the shells.

Finally, we painted the details on the stones to complete our beach scene.

To see a larger view of my demonstration painting, click here.

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  1. Mary Ellen November 17, 2015

    Thanks for the mini refresher. Think I needed that!