Winter is here

I have always loved how raindrops, sleet, snow and ice form mesmerizing patterns on windows. I’ve been meaning to tackle raindrops in watercolour for a while. This reference photo from the backyard has been tempting me for a few years now. I opened it up last week and began the process of figuring it out.

After a very loose sketch and masking out the raindrops, I soaked the front and back of a half sheet of 300 lb arches watercolour paper. Once the shine was off, I dropped in washes of ultramarine blue, burnt sienna and burnt umber. I confess to trying to control the bleeds a bit though I’m developing the instinct to let them run more. Individual branches were picked out with a #2 brush. The raindrops and parts of the trunk are done with watercolour pencil followed by touching the edges with water to prevent a crayon-like mark. All the whites in this piece were reserved.

All in all, it turned out to be more interesting than the original photo and I found my eye pulled constantly to the foreground while maintaining a strong middle ground and a few background layers. So, hopefully I captured depth as well as the weather.

Let me know if you have any tips or suggestions that would make this a more interesting piece.

Happy Valentine’s Day


14 thoughts on “Winter is here

  1. It all worked out very nicely here. It’s obviously a watercolor, but at first glance, it looks like a watercolor seen through an actual wet window. That is a great optical effect. When I enlarged the web page, it was a lot of fun to see just how well you fooled us. You did a great job!

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