Memories of Summer – step-by-step

Watercolour painting -  Memories of Summer
One of the advantages of having time to paint during the day is that I can take progress photos of the painting as I paint (if I remember, as most often I get totally lost in the painting process and forget about everything else).
Painting Stage 1 - shadows
After arranging the still-life, I lightly sketched the shells & seagull feather with Faber-Castell 9000 pencil (F hardness) on Fabriano Artistico CP watercolour paper. Since I knew that the angle of the sun will change while I paint, I painted the shadows first to remind me where the light was coming from.
Painting Stage 2 - First Layer of watercolour
Next I added the first layer of Winsor & Newton watercolour to each shell & piece of coral individually, working wet-into-wet to allow the colours to merge and mix.
Painting Stage 3 - feather
After the first layer of the watercolour dried, I applied clean water to most of the feather. I kept some areas dry as I wanted them to remain white. I mixed Winsor & Newton French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna together to get various shades of grey. I started painting from the outside edge of the feather letting the colour bleed down towards the feather’s rachis (shaft).
Painting stage 4 - defining shapes & texture
Next I started adding details, further defining shapes and texture.
Painting Stage 5 - almost finished
I kept on slowly progressing around the painting.
Painting Stage 6 - finished
At this stage I decided to finish working on this painting and added my signature with a pencil.


12 thoughts on “Memories of Summer – step-by-step

  1. Michael Richards (certainline)

    Wonderful to see how you build up the intensity of the watercolour – many thanks for making the effort to show the process. I bought an F-C F hardness pencil a few weeks ago without actually knowing what it was. It’s interesting to see you using it.

    1. Zoya Post author

      Michael, thank you. I need to buy few more myself. I have a lot of soft pencils (3B-6B), but hardly ever use them as I don’t draw much nowadays.

    1. Zoya Post author

      Charlie, thank you. I’m aiming to learn to combine fine details with wet-into-wet juiciness of watercolour. It is such fun to move towards my own style.


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