Watercolor Painting + Pen & Ink Drawing = SUCCESS

There are many ways to begin a watercolor painting, each artist has their own technique or favorite way to begin. Some will do a preliminary sketch using pencil, ink or even use the watercolor paint to outline their subject. Some artists will do an extremely detailed drawing of their painting while others might simply start painting with large brushes doing big wet washes of color.  Because I feel I’m very weak in the area of drawing I avoid challenging scenes filled with building and design elements I’m not comfortable with. But through the past several years of painting I have disciplined myself to practice drawing and discovered that when I’m using a pen I produce many wonderful little sketches.

This painting was started by sketching, with a permanent ink pen, a landscape scene and then painting the drawing with watercolors.


Peaceful Forest1_____________________________________________________________________________________

I started by painting the sky or distant background. I worked carefully around the tree shapes to leave them white so I can complete them later. You can see in this photo the ink drawing on my watercolor paper.


Peaceful Forest2 - Copy


Peaceful Forest3____________________________________________________________________________________________

I continue working distance to foreground using a limited color palette.


Peaceful Forest4


I bring color & shape to the trees. A variety of light & dark colors plus multiple widths give the trees more interest than if they were all painted alike.


Peaceful Forest5


Now I start to concentrate on the tree tops and develop that area. I want the viewer to not be led out of the painting by having the branches escaping through the top of the painting. I also want the winter trees to have the characterization of the numerous tiny branches left bare at the top of the tree.  I do not want to individually paint them instead generating the illusion of them lets the viewer fill in the details in their mind.


Peaceful Forest6


I add the shadows and feel the painting is complete.

Although I don’t often start my watercolor paintings by first drawing with pen sometimes it a good for me to re-think & re-work how I do things. Change can be a good thing. Change in how I paint can lead to new, creative & exciting new artwork. Rethink how you start a painting and see what a little change can do to you and your paintings


Paint with Me


~ by Lorraine Rimmelin on January 27, 2013.

3 Responses to “Watercolor Painting + Pen & Ink Drawing = SUCCESS”

  1. Lorranine, this is lovely!!! Nice to see your process.

  2. Thanks Joan. Painting has become my salvation 😀

  3. :d very nice lovely, i like the formula watercolor+inkpen drawing = success , it is …

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