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Stage One

Drawing done, the first thing to do is to mask out the brightest highlights with masking fluid; I use the yellow variety applied with and old hair rigger cut down to about 10 hairs.
Very fine precise marks are possible.

Fig. 4

Notice I masked out the entire shape of the flags; elsewhere (not shown) the bright sunlit edges of ledges etc were also picked out.
A graded wash of cerulean blue was applied but only after turning the drawing upside down as I wanted to begin pale and get stronger towards the top of the painting. It’s easier this way as this sedimentary colour settles in the paper very quickly.
While I was doing this I thought I’d add some cloud shapes; you are thinking all the time with watercolour even if you have a plan! This was done very quickly with no pause as I didn’t want to let the cerulean settle and spoil the soft blended effect.

Fig. 5

Graded background sky wash complete.

Fig. 6

At work in the studio.

Fig. 7

Now the right way up, time to move on to the next stage after the sky wash has dried.


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