As we live in the country, there's no shortage of material for this type of endeavor. I also looked at a couple of pictures in some magazines we received and then took out a blank piece of watercolor paper. No doubt you remember blank spaces from my previous post.
There are two methods for keeping white spaces white when doing a watercolor.
The first is to paint around all of the spaces that you want to remain white (not as easy as it sounds); the second is to apply something called Maskoid to protect the white spaces. Maskoid is a masking fluid that dries so you can paint over it and not worry about dirtying the white spaces.
On the right here you'll see my white paper with Maskoid applied where I want to save all of the snow highlights I decided that I wanted in my picture.
I didn't do a drawing ahead of time (don't tell anyone). I sort of drew the places where the highlights would be on the trees and ground with the Maskoid, so I guess you could say I Maskoid-ed a drawing! It's not cheating...it's being creative!
I had actually given some thought to stopping right here, framing it and calling it "Winter Study." Always a good thing to stop before you ruin a good thing, but my friend Guy would say, "Take a chance and make it better."
I've taken many chances in the past and have a stack of rejects to prove that I tried!
Anyway, on to the next step.
For this, I mixed some colors in my little tray that my friend Carol from New Paltz gave me and made a dark wash to lay out where the trees will be.
The nice thing is that you can paint right over the Maskoid after it dries (it's like plastic on a sofa) and the highlights are still there. Really! They're under the Maskoid. You're going to have to trust me on this!
Two things about watercolor. First, you have to remember to give the Maskoid and subsequent painting steps time to dry before you go on to the next step.
Secondly, the time allowed for drying is just about the right amount of time to make a batch of margaritas or to put together some cheese and crackers and aerate a nice Shiraz!
I generally only use three colors, primaries of course, and love cobalt blue! Along with that blue, a cadmium red and a cadmium yellow.
The three combined will make just about any color you might need. I don't use black or white, but have been known to eat half a dozen black and white cookies! They're the best.