"Woods Edge Afternoon" - watercolor landscape painting by Tony ConnerSimple Watercolor Sketch Becomes a Painting

The Initial Sketch

This small painting began as a quick sketch study for a larger watercolor work. The painting itself has a nice feel on its own and so became a more finished work.

The painting shows how simple it is to depict light on a winter day. The color palette is typical for a winter scene – a few blues and a couple earth tones. Yet, these few colors are enough to visually describe the snow covered landscape as well as weak afternoon light.

Using the Wet-Into-Wet Watercolor Technique

The background began with a light wash of cerulean blue. While this wash was still wet, alternate strokes of burnt sienna, cobalt blue and ultramarine blue were dropped in. In essence, this is the same as working the classic wet-into-wet watercolor technique.  Working wet into wet allows the different colors to flow, mingle and mix with one another, creating a variety of subtle gradations of color and value.  The result is virtually impossible to recreate in any other medium and is one of the unique and beautiful characteristics of watercolor painting.