Saturday, February 22, 2014

Tugboats Re-visited ... a Watercolor Painting Process

I masked the tugs, and then covered the light areas with old watercolor paper and masking tape. Then I spattered and spayed greens across the top to indicate trees. There was a light blue/grey wash over all except the tugs.

This was the result. Spattering gave a much more natural look to the trees.

I painted a w/w grey/blue wash over the top again. It softened some of the green of the trees, and I quite liked the effect. Then I used a darker grey/green to give the feel of fog below the trees.

I did two separate w/w washes of green for the water.

 ... and then wet all the water and did it again. I think it may need a few washes.
The colors I am using so far are indanthrone blue, aureolin, quin. rose and alizarin crimson.

The last version of the tugboats was good, but didn't really say what I wanted. I was painting it for my saint of a landlady, and she agreed. Also, she preferred green, so off I went ...
I changed the format to "portrait", to enhance the grandeur of the forest, re-sketched one of the tugs, and started. I must admit, I really like the green better than the blue, but that's just a personal preference. And I find the vertical format gives the painting more of an imposing presence.

Thank you all so much for dropping by! Your comments are always welcome.


  1. Très belle atmosphère pleine de mystère. Merci pour le pas à pas. Bisous.

    Very nice atmosphere full of mystery. Thank you for the step by step. Kisses.

  2. I adore the atmospheric perspective of this art piece Kathryn! great achievement.

  3. Well I loved your previous tug paintings (Seaspan Pat)? but I agree that this version has 'the edge'. The background is excellent - very atmospheric

  4. This is looking wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your wip steps and the colors that you are using. Very inspiring......

  5. LOVE the WIP.. This is a FANTASTIC painting, Kathryn. I love how you got the effects on the fog..its amazing and the best I've seen! I can't wait to see this one finished...!

  6. Oh Kathryn, this is GORGEOUS!! I haven't seen your blue one yet, I'm going to find it right now.. but wow, the mood in this is definitely imposing and the fog and trees and water, just all of it is so beautiful.. I need to start painting again! wow.. xo Jen

  7. This is already a beauty. I too enjoy your step by step posts. Your patience is amazing.