For my second watercolour practice piece, I wanted to learn restraint in colour palette. I chose a reference image with a limited amount of colour, pretty much just yellow veering to orange, and green veering into blue. I started again with a light lemon wash for the sky, mixed with a light green for the water. Boats were blocked in on a second pass a desaturated and slightly darker value brown, with some variation of green and blue.
The third pass allowed me to add some darker values to build up the foreground land in the bottom right, and some more detail in the boats. Suggestions of sails and additions to the reflections were added at this point, still keeping to the same colour pallette as before.
On the fourth pass I went overboard (ho ho ho) with a too dark value on the main boat, and immediately used a tissuetowel to try to control-z my way out of it. Apparently, as I learned, this is not good for the paper, and any paint applied on this area afterward didn’t really absorb, taking on a weird texture. This was a relief in a way and gave me license to go bold and crazy, having already ruined the painting.
By the time the paint properly dried I realised it actually wasn’t too bad, and I was able to do a final wash to darken all my values and add a final layer of green to the sky and water, with the intention of unifying the whole piece. I used a wet brush to remove paint to indicate rope lines, and some last little bits and pieces.
While not a masterpiece, this was a good learning experience in restraint and using a controlled colour palette. I like the strong contrast of value and the boat in the foreground benefits from a bit at the front i neglected to paint, adding the illusion of reflected light at the bow. Happy accident.