Project 4—Dawn and Dusk

Supplies You Will Need:

  • supplies listed in the Required Materials list for Watercolor Jumpstart set up and ready to paint
  • pencil and kneaded eraser
  • woodless pencil  or graphite stick (optional, but handy) or a regular pencil
  • two 1/16th (one-sixteenth, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2″) sheets of watercolor paper for the project
  • two support boards, so you can leave your projects taped down as you alternate working on them
  • Five 1/16th (one-sixteenth, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2″) sheets of watercolor paper for the lesson on laying washes
  • Two or three more 1/16 sheets, or the backs of other practice paintings for the lesson on techniques for trees
  • several scrap pieces of watercolor paper for testing and practicing colors and brushstrokes (if you are just starting out you may not have any such “scraps” yet; but as you go along save all your exercise and practice sheets and use the backs as your “test sheets”)
  • a rigger (liner) brush or a dip pen with a drawing nib (optional)

Project Prerequisites:

  • all lessons in the Preliminaries section
  • How to Transfer a Drawing lesson from the Spring Chickadee Project
  • Mechanics of Mixing lesson from the Spring Chickadee Project
  • Achieving Soft Edges lesson from the Marbles on the Sun Project
  • Blending Color within a Shape lesson from the Rainbow Rose Window Project

Project Lessons

Laying Flat and Graduated Washes

5 Techniques for Trees in Watercolor

Dawn & Dusk at the Lake Project Video

Note: Set your printer to “no scaling” or “print actual size” instead of “fill page” to print the templates at the correct size for your watercolor paper.

A Few More Examples for Inspiration

Now that you know the process, you can create many paintings of your own. Simply combine an interesting wash with some recognizable silhouettes, and arrange things on the page in a pleasing manner. No need for details!

The sense of “detail” in the trees in some of these paintings is a result of more than one layer of stamping with banding film, sponging and/or brushwork. The clouds were created by making a few quick brushstrokes while the underlying wash was still wet and allowing them to blend (if you need help with this, watch the lesson video “Achieving Soft Edges” from the Marbles in the Sun Project.