Social Media Follow Me pinterest instagram facebook twitter RSS Feed Contact Me!

Garden Path Painting Tutorial
Watercolor Painting Tutorial

by Jennifer Branch
YouTube Watercolor Painting Tutorial
Paint a beautiful summer day in a Maine garden. The flowers are blooming in so many colors. A gnarled old apple tree frames the grassy path leading to the cool woods.

The garden is the lovely Thuya Gardens in Northeast Harbor, Maine. You should definitely visit it if you go to Maine, but the ideas for this painting can be used to paint any garden.

Gardens are especially good to paint just before the famed golden hour. Golden hour is fleeting and tints all the colors a warm gold, but for more natural flower colors, try painting just before that time. You'll get the long light and deep shadows that make the flowers glow, with more vibrant colors.

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting tutorial


Painting Tutorial Level

Beginner
Intermediate

Skill Building

Flowers

Shadows

Art Supplies

10" x 14"
Arches Rough Press

Isabey Pointed Round Sable, no.8
Isabey Pointed Round Sable, no.14
Isabey Rigger, no.4

Paints

M. Graham watercolors

Azo Yellow
Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Nickel Azo Yellow
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Viridian
Cobalt Violet
Quinacridone Rust
White Gouache

Painting Demonstration 1

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Lesson 1

I begin by painting the warm light at the end of the path. I want to keep this very light in contrast to everything else.

Keep the path fairly light as well. I'm mixing azo yellow with a tinge of viridian. I want a very pale path so the shadows show up with a lot of contrast.

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Reference Photo
Garden Path Painting Tutorial Reference Photo

Painting Demonstration 2

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Lesson 2

I'm painting the greenery, not the flowers.

Slight variations in greens are easy to do, adding cobalt blue, quinacridone red or nickel azo yellow to my basic viridian / azo yellow mix.

I reserve whites where I'm going to paint flowers. I don't want to start on the flowers until the greens are blocked in and I know where my lightest lights and deepest shadows will be. It's too easy to paint everything very dark since flowers are bright colors.

Painting Demonstration 3

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Painting Tutorial 3

I've added a few cool darks in with quinacridone rust and cobalt blue.

The darks are going to make the bright pink Joe Pye weed almost glow in the sunlight.

Place your strong darks strategically, near where you want your viewer's eyes.

The shadows across the grass path should draw your eyes into the painting, not block them.

Artist's Tips

When painting gardens, paint the green stuff first, then the flowers.

Painting Demonstration 4

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Painting Tutorial 4

I can't resist adding just a few touches of color. I'm using permanent alizarin crimson and cobalt violet to start.

Painting Demonstration 5

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Painting Tutorial 5

The ancient apple tree frames the end of the path in glowing greens. I increase the contrast around the backlit leaves with a few dark blue trees in the distance.

Painting Demonstration 6

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Tutorial 6

Some very strong darks around the bright pinks of the Joe Pye will contrast brightly and make the sunlit pinks seem brighter. I want a few more deep shadows around the flowers.


Painting Demonstration 7

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Tutorial 7

This stage went very fast with a lot of filling in reserved white paper with bright colors. After all, this is a sunlit summer garden.

I still keep a fair amount of white paper showing through the rough dry brush. The sun reflects on flower petals and leaves, making white reflections all over the garden.

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Tutorial

Garden Path Painting Tutorial Final Watercolor Painting!

Shadows frame the sunlit end of this garden path. This is definitely a lovely path to walk down on a summer day.

I hope this inspires you to paint a garden near you this summer.



Related Art Lessons

Garden Path Painting Tutorial watercolor painting tutorial by Jennifer Branch




comments powered by Disqus



]