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Demo on Web

The watercolor painting demonstration on this page shows Lian Zhen's landscapte painting techniques. It was done for his fouth book "Chinese Landscape Techniques for Watercolor" which will publish by North Light Books in Fall 2013. You can see more watercolor and Chinese painting demos with similar and different methods on variety subjects from his books: Chinese Painting Techniques for Exquisite WatercolorsChinese Watercolor Painting Techniques - Painting Animals and Chinese Watercolor Techniques for Exquisite Flowers, as well as on his painting demo DVDs.
To purchase Lian Zhen books and painting demo DVDs, click Book & Painting Demo DVDs
To buy Giclee prints of Lian Zhen paintings, click Archival Limited Giclee Prints
You can also learn the techniques from Lian Zhen's workshops, click Workshops

Picture of Sahalee Fall (McKenzie River, WA)


Finished watercolor painting of Sahalee Fall 16"x20"

Materials:
Three colors – Antwerp Blue (Windsor and Newton), Naphthol Red and Hansa Yellow Deep (M. Graham &Co.) Dilute each color with 3 teaspoons of water into approximately medium value in 3 small dishes. Paper - Arches140 LB cold press paper 16”x20”. Brushes – Synthetic, round number 2, 4 and 6, flat – 1/2 (with wedge shape) and ¾ inch. Masking fluid – Pebeo.
Also see watercolor painting materials listed at the bottom of the Workshops page on this web site.

 

Step 1: roughly sketch the composition with a #2 pencil. Take away some plants on lower right and ignore most of rock and tree details on cliffs. Use wedge end of the 1/2” brush to apply masking blocking waterfall at cliff, water beneath, sky, few trees on cliff and some leaves on lower right.
Step 2: Wait for masking fluid completely dry to start painting from left cliff. Use a sprayer to spray water 4-5 times lightly wetting that area.
Step 3: Pour three color liquids on it regardless ordering. More Yellow and Blue liquids are on trees but more Red and Yellow on rocks. Try to pour them next to, but not on top of each other.
Step 4: Spray a few more times on those color liquids to enhance their blending. Use fingers or the ¾” to lightly mix and guide them. If there are excess color liquids and they are not muddy, use the brush to take and drop them on rocks and trees nearby.
Step 6: Spray water 4-5 times at lower fall at left. Use the ¾” to drop small amount of Blue liquids on it. Immediately spray water a couple times on it to create soft and smooth blending that effetely depicts flowing water. Next, lightly wet lower right area and then pour three color liquids there.

Step 5: Spray a few more times on those color liquids to enhance their blending. Use fingers or the ¾” to lightly mix and guide them. If there are excess color liquids and they are not muddy, use the brush to take and drop them on rocks and trees nearby.
 
Step 8: Next, use the same brush to mix fresh thick Blue and Red. Define rock edges at foreground. Also, drop whole bunch of the mixture color on left and lower right, immediately use mouth to blow it for obtaining trees at left and shrubs on lower right. You can use straws to do blowing.
Step 7: Slightly wet lower left corner with the water sprayer and pour three color liquids. Use the ¾” to mix intense Red and little Blue. Apply it on rocks there and lower right.
Step 9: To add more trunks and branches on trees at left, take the #6 to paint them with same color mixture as previous step. On the water fall at lower middle, use the #4 to paint short and thin strokes to suggest water movement in light to medium Blue. Wait for whole painting dry, lift up masking on upper fall and water beneath.

Step 10: To create more misty effects on cliff at upper right, use wet paper towels to lift up colors there and soften the “Balloon” edges. “Balloon” is a special effect in watercolor caused by excess water on a colored area where water pushes pigments out and form edges.
Step 11: To define upper fall, use the #4 lightly wet its left and right edges randomly leave dry spots, and then use the #6 to apply light to medium Blue on those wetted areas. Next, we paint the log and rocks bellow it. Use the #4 brush to mix fresh thick Blue and little Red to paint their shaded sides. Immediately, use the #6 with little water to blend the dark Blue smoothly onto their bright portions.

Step 12: Now we paint plants around upper fall. Use the #2 to apply light Blue around the yellowish tree. Then use the #6 with little water to blend it away from the tree edge onto background foliages (paint around technique). Define other trees the same way. The further they are the darker Blue used.



Step 13: Use the #2 to call out tree trunks and branches on upper right by painting around them with mixture of medium to intense Blue and Red. To define rocks on cliff, paint their shadows with mixture of medium Red and little Blue. Give more definitions on rocks close to waterfall.

Step 14: Use the same brush to mix intense Blue and Red, paint gaps between rocks and tree roots. Also, use the same mixture color to define one more layer of trees, by painting around their trunks and foliages. To touch up the white trees that were masked before, use the #2 to fill their trunks and branches with Yellow and Red.
Step 15: In as same way, define trees and rocks on cliff at left. Remember not to paint them with same level of details, or your painting appears rigid (“change of details”).
Step 16: Use the #2 to call out two logs on middle left by paint around them with mixture of intense Blue and Red. Immediately, use #6 to blend it away from log edges onto background smoothly. Now we want more water flowing on top of rocks at lower left. Use the ¾” and little water to lift up colors on top of rocks there.
Step 17: Lift up all masking on lower portion of the painting. At lower right, fill leaves with Yellow and Blue while branches with Red and Yellow. Finally, for white dots saved by splashing masking on lower fall, fill some of them with light Blue and leave few white.
To purchase Lian Zhen's books and painting demo DVDs, click Book & Painting Demo DVDs
To buy Giclee prints of Lian Zhen paintings, click Archival Limite Giclee Prints
To take Lian Zhen's workshops, click
Workshops
Home || Gallery || Workshops || Painting Trip || Books & Painting Demo DVDs  || Archival Limited Giclee Prints
The Artist || Chinese Painting Materials II Paint Happy & Cook Healthy || Demo on Web


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