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Watercolor Painting Demonstration
"Shiloh"


Shiloh is a beagle and he's the Rogers' family pet.
Below you'll see and example of how I create my watercolor paintings.

Shiloh portait


shiloh step 1

Step 1: The completed pencil drawing. Obviously, it is extremely important to get this part right. You'll see from the reference photo that I had to add the tail to the drawing. I'm a much better painter than I am a photographer. Good thing this is our dog and I know what he looks like.
shiloh step 2

Step 2: Here I've added the lightest areas of color. A mixture of yellow ochre and burnt sienna. I'm using a wet-in-wet technique that I modified to fit my own style of painting. I use this same technique in all of my watercolor paintings.

shiloh step 3

Step 3: Now I'm adding darker areas to the painting to see how the colors will play against each other. I dont want to make the mistake of getting too far with one area without thinking of the painting as a whole.

shiloh step 4

Step 4: Here I'm putting in some of the midtones and working on the lightest areas. Blue for cool shadow sides, and pink or purple for the warm areas.

shiloh step 5

Step 5: Beginning to darken things up a bit. Once the darkest value is established, now I have a reference for everything else.

shiloh step 6

Step 6: Darkening even more. The head and ears are almost finished.

shiloh step 7

Step 7: Time to start bringing everything together, making sure all of the values are correct.

shiloh step 8

Step 8: Adding more of the details now. What a difference an eye makes! That's the shiloh I know.
At this stage of the painting I'll have between 7 and 10 transparent layers of paint (glazing) in some areas to achieve depth and detail.

shiloh step 9

Step 9: The completed subject. Now to start thinking about the background. I apply tape to the edges in order to give a clean edge to the finished painting.

shiloh step 10

Step 10: The first wash for the background is the lightest color. I want most of the background to have this same value so that the subject stands out.

shiloh step 11

Step 11: Here you see the beginnings of the second background wash. By using a loose painting style in this stage, the detail of the subject will stand out even more!

shiloh step 12

Step 12: This is probably the most creative stage of the painting. It will make or break the finished product. This background has to be abstract, but at the same time somewhat realistic. Hmmm.

shiloh step 13
Step 13: The finished painting. Everything comes together. Dark values and more detail are
added to the grass, pushing back the lighter value behind the subject and adding depth.
It turns out to have a peaceful quality I wasn't expecting.
You would never know this guy was such a hyper little trouble maker!


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Copyright David J. Rogers 2008, All rights reserved.