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This is an easy painting exercise. Three colors and only a few layers of paint and almost no glazing or wet on wet, basically the whole painting is done with only one layer, of different colors, on unpainted paper.

The colors I chose were French ultramarine, burnt sienna, and nickel dioxin yellow (a yellow color that is no longer available, but any yellow will work.) If you want to use other colors, that will work too, but only three colors, and they should be a blue, brown and yellow.

A photo to paint after.

Start with a fairly simple pencil drawing. It should only indicate where things should be placed on the painting. Make it as modest as possible. The image composition probably breaks some “rules”: the horizon is in the middle of the image height and the subject itself is centered. But if it works, it works, and I think it works fine.

Step 1

Step 1

Start painting the sky, it is at the back of the subject and from back to front is a good principle to follow. As you can see, the blue color I painted the sky with is not very clean and clear. That’s because I mixed some yellow paint into the ultramarine blue. The blue color is far too red to be a good sky blue. A little mixing of yellow makes it cooler. You may not need to do that, depending on which blue you have chosen.

The clouds are created by painting the blue sky around them. It’s called negative painting, creating the shape of an object by painting what’s behind it. Start at the top of the sky, and dilute the blue color as you approach the horizon, so that the sky is lighter at the bottom than higher up. If you paint fluidly, you may avoid blooms. At the bottom of the horizon, the color should be so diluted that you are really just painting with water.

Let the blue paint dry while you mix a gray color of blue and brown. Depending on your color choice, the gray may turn greenish or even have a violet tinge. Don’t worry about this if this is the case. The color in context will look good in the end.

Dilute your gray paint with water until it is very light. Paint it, a little carelessly, on the underside of all the clouds so they get a shadow.

The dark field must be painted now. Mix a dark brown color with your brown and blue color. The color should be very dark. It must be painted only once so it is not possible to cheat and paint over if the color has become too light. Dark colors die if you have to paint several layers of watercolor paint on top of each other.

You should leave a small gap between the bottom edge of the house and the dark field. In the photo you see a small green strip of grass between the houses and the dark field, just leave this part unpainted for now.

Notice the dry brushed bottom edge of the field. You achieve this with a quick, daring brushstroke, slightly diagonally, over the paper (read more about dry brush). Once this is done, fill the area above with the same dark color.

Step 2

Step 2

Two things must be done in this step: Paint with a light color the distant fields and trees in the background. The color you use for this can be brownish, gray or green, or bluish, it’s your choice. But it must be weak so that it seems to be far away. Avoid painting the houses in the foreground.

Also paint the small area in front of the houses and above the dark field. I made mine the same color as the distant trees, but you can make yours green, like in the photo, if you want.

The second thing you have to do is paint the green field at the bottom of the picture. In the photo you see a road between the green and the freshly plowed brown field. I chose to place a string with an unpainted surface with dry brushed edges, something is needed between the fields. It gets heavy and boring with only a dark brown field and below it, a green one. In the green field, you can also put in any deviating color, so that it doesn’t become completely flat, I used a little brownish color at the bottom.

Step 3

Step 3

Start with the large tree crowns on the left of the picture. Paint the trees, with well-diluted paint, alternating between blue-grey and brownish. Start on the left side and gradually dilute the color so that it becomes lighter on the right. Let the paint dry before you start painting the houses. To create light in the picture, the facades of the houses that are on the right should remain unpainted, all other parts of the houses will be given some color. The dark roofs and gables can be painted with both brown and blue colors that are allowed to flow into each other. That way they don’t get boring. Let the houses dry and then put in some windows and doors. Also paint some tree trunks on the previous painter tree crowns.

The unpainted, dry-brushed saved surface in the green field is given a light yellow-brown overpaint, and some quick dark green brushstrokes are placed in the green field. This completes this painting.

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