Morning Shadows, Windrush
Windrush is a beautiful Cotswold village, nestling in the stunning landscape of the Windrush valley and home of the late watercolour master and founder of the Pure Watercolour Society, James Fletcher-Watson.
This view provided an effective composition, with a large cottage on the right and the road leading the eye into the distance. I was also inspired by the bright morning sunlight, especially the shadows falling across the road and how they described the contours of the pathway on the left.
I chose the standard off white paper as I felt the natural, cream colour would enhance the warm, Cotswold stone of the walls and buildings.
Step 1 – Drawing
The subject was sketched out onto the watercolour paper, using a 4B pencil. This view is looking slightly down hill, so it was important to note my eye level and vanishing points of the various roof tops.
Step 2 – Underwash
The under wash came first, starting with the sky. I established the clouds by first painting them in clear water, adding Cobalt Blue
at the top and allowing it to touch the wet paper at selected areas. This creates a combination of soft and sharp edges along the cloud tops, adding interest and movement.
The clouds were then developed further with Raw Sienna and a warm grey made from Light Red and Cobalt Blue, keeping edges soft throughout.
I continued the wash of Raw Sienna down across the rest of the landscape, tinting the foliage with a mix of Raw Sienna and French Ultramarine. Finally, the buildings and road were lightly tinted with Cotswold Stone and touches of Burnt Sienna.
Step 3 – Background Trees and Buildings
With the under wash dry, I worked from background to foreground, starting with the distant trees and cottages. Combining Cadmium Yellow
, Raw Sienna
and French Ultramarine
, I developed the foliage, adding Burnt Sienna
for the larger tree which was starting to show signs of autumn.
Step 4 – Foreground Cottage
The foreground walls and cottage on the right came next, combining warm and cool tones for the shadows on the stone work. Windows were added whilst this was all wet to achieve soft forms, using Burnt Sienna
Note how the shadows change colour according to the surfaces they fall across. The roof was added with blues and browns to suggest the warm grey slate, the dark tree at the back helping to define the chimneys.
Step 5 – Foreground Shadows
The shadows falling across the grass were now carried onto the road, changing the colour back to a warm grey as the road was a warm brown. While all was wet, I punched in the dark edges of the grass where they met the road. The large tree on the far right was added with a dark mix of Cadmium Yellow
, French Ultramarine
and Burnt Sienna
Step 6 – Final Details
The shadows were taken across the path, grasses and wall on the left, changing colours accordingly. Finally I refined details such as chimneys, windows and bushes around the distant houses with mixes of French Ultramarine
, Raw Sienna
and Burnt Sienna
About Paul Weaver
Paul Weaver is a full-time artist, tutor and demonstrator. 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 teaching DVDs, painting courses and holidays, please visit his website at www.paulweaverart.co.uk
All work ©2016 Paul Weaver