Amanda Cooper Landscapes, Houses and Gardens in watercolour

How to go about following the online demos: 

Hi everyone, I thought this might be helpful, particularly if you have never attended my class or been on a painting holiday: 

1. Every week I will be putting a landscape demo up on this website. With it I will include a full size photo of the subject and my own painting both halfway through and finished. 

2. First off; have a good look at the subject photo and decide whether it is 'portrait' or 'landscape'  - ie sideways or lengthways. 

3. Make your own little 'Thumbnail sketch' using a softish pencil like a 3B. DONT make it too big - about the size of a postcard is fine, otherwise you will spend all day on it. You have to make the transfer to your watercolour paper soon enough. Then let your hand relax and draw! Make loads of light pencil marks which can always be rubbed out later(but never are) It is also a good idea to get your tones(or shading) onto this small sketch with some nice hatched shading lines to indicate the darker tones of the picture e.g.shadows and dark tree areas. See mine in images. *

4. Then have a look at the first film. DONT try to keep up - just watch it. 

5. A good way of starting out in watercolour is to mix yourself a nice pale wash of French Ultramarine. Always ensure you mix a nice puddle of colour, but put the paint on the plate first, NOT the water. IF you are worried about laying paint on the page - have a little practise on another piece of paper. Select a medium sized brush around a size 12 if you are a beginner - bigger if you are not!

6. Paint all your tones/shadows in with the ultramarine wash.Much like a black and white photo. Try to get a really smooth layer on, which is what is known as a 'wash'. Remember that this is a PALE layer of paint. Have a look at my painting of White Still Life which I have put up as an example of a simple blue wash effect. 

7. If you have never painted trees before - blue is a very good way of not getting into too much trouble. 

8. I would suggest a limited palette of Aureolin yellow or light cadmium; Raw Sienna; Raw Umber; Burnt Sienna; French Ultramarine; Permanent rose if you have it dont worry if not. Alizarin will do. You can mostly mix green form Blue and Yellow but I find Hookers Green and Green Gold to be very useful additions. See colour mixing chart where the colours either side create the colour in the middle! Very homespun but try making one of your own as well.