Autumn Landscape, Somerset, Watercolour Tutorial by Paul Weaver

Autumn Landscape, Somerset in 6 steps

Autumn is a wonderful time to paint, with the greens of summer giving way to vibrant oranges, browns and mellow ochre hues. In this example, the light and shade falling across the front of the building makes a great focal point, framed by the magnificent autumn foliage of the surrounding trees.

MATERIALS

Materials used are Ken Bromley Artists’ Watercolours and Saunders Waterford High White 140lb / 300gsm Rough, 2B pencil.

Colours used were:
Raw Sienna
Burnt Sienna
Cadmium Yellow
Light Red
Permanent Rose
Alizarin Crimson
Cobalt Blue
French Ultramarine


Get your free printable sketch here and use Transfer Paper to trace it on to your watercolour paper.


Tonal Sketch

Tonal Sketch

Step 1

Once I had planned my composition with a tonal sketch, I lightly drew the main elements onto the watercolour paper.

Once I had planned my composition with a tonal sketch, I lightly drew the main elements onto the watercolour paper in 2B pencil. I then wet the whole sheet with clear water and applied a first wash, top to bottom. Then I start to use different colours of watercolour paint. The sky was a combination of Raw Sienna, Permanent Rose and Cobalt Blue. I continued down the sheet with the Raw Sienna, adding Burnt Sienna and Cadmium Yellow across the foliage. As the wash dried, I spattered the trees with water to create a texture.

Step 2

Once the paper was dry, I painted the distant hills

Once the paper was dry, I painted the distant hills with a wash of Raw Sienna, adding a little Cobalt Blue and Light Red to tone it down. This wash was allowed to run over the tree on the right, but not the building. I added more of the blue and red to darken the distant hedges. This was then allowed to dry.

Step 3

I then developed the building and tree on the right.

I then developed the building and tree on the right. I used Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine for the tree, dragging the brush to create texture. Note how the distant field shows through the gaps in the foliage and how the tree defines the edge of the building.

The roof on the building was Burnt Sienna, with a thick mix of Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine added to suggest the tiling. The wall was Cobalt Blue and Light Red, adding the windows and shadows under the eaves with Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine while still wet to create soft definition. The shadow falling on the sunlit wall and bridge was mixed with Cobalt Blue, Light Red and Raw Sienna.

Step 4

The large autumn trees on the left were next

The large autumn trees on the left were next, starting with the darkest foliage. I used Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson and touches of Ultramarine for the darker areas, dragging the brush across the paper to create texture and leaving gaps in the foliage, then scratching out a few twigs bottom left with my fingernail before the wash dried. The trunk and branches were a dark mix of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine.

Step 5

I painted the lighter tree

I painted the lighter tree with Raw Sienna and Cadmium Yellow, adding touches of Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue and Alizarin Crimson to create shadows. The trunk and branches were added with Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna while the foliage was still damp. I continued with the smaller bushes to the right and finally the low hedge, using Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue.

Step 6

I added a little more texture to the foreground field

I added a little more texture to the foreground field, dragging a pale mix of Raw Sienna and touches of blue and brown over the sunlit grass. Finally, I painted the tree shadow falling across the foreground grass with Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue and a little Light Red.


Paul Weaver is a full-time artist, tutor and demonstrator based in Bristol, UK. His primary inspirations are light and atmospheric effects. Townscapes, markets and the bustle of the city are favourite subjects, as well as landscape, marine and coastal scenes. He currently specialises in watercolour, but also enjoys working in oil, acrylic and line and wash.

He is a demonstrator for St Cuthbert’s Mill and a regular contributor for ‘The Artist’ magazine. He is an elected member of the Pure Watercolour Society.
For further examples of Paul’s work and details of his painting courses and art holidays, please visit his website at www.paulweaverart.co.uk

All work ©2019 Paul Weaver

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