I you follow me on Instagram you might already have seen some of my plein air paintings I did during my trip to the Pyrénées, a nice mountain chain in the south of France.
During this two weeks trip I had for a plan to do as much watercolors and gouaches as I could.
And I did quite a few so I’m kinda happy about that, I also learned a lot and managed to improve my watercolor skills and maybe a bit my gouache skills ? I had low quality gouache that did not go well with the travelling situation, maybe I’ll talk about my gouache experience in another post.
Let me show you my process for one of these plein air watercolor :
First of all, a bit of the story on the location : Mefisheye and I went hiking to this place, it was a two days hike, quite an easy one but we still had to walk a bit to gain the 2350 m high lake that is hidden behind this small refuge. During that hike we did other watercolors ( that I will also share with you at the end ) but for now let’s focus on this one.
When I hike I try to have a minimum of supplies with me because weight is really important, the less the better !
I only took my homemade watercolor palette, a few brushes ( the splatters I love so much ) a graphite mechanical pencil, my trusty pen, the sketchbook I made ( that has seen better days, but hikes aren’t nice on books ) and a small bottle of water.
I start my sketch with the big graphite pencil.
I’ve really grown in love this big pencil, it is quite heavy and it teaches me to go simple and just focus on the main shapes. I know the pencil may stay in the end because it’s not the kind that disappear with water but I kinda like the look of it in the end, you’ll see.
On to the first layer of watercolor, I try to see the big shapes and use the wet on wet technique at times to have interesting colors variations.
For this I use the big splatter brush, I try to use it as faras possible when painting since it refrains me from going into details. It makes me work more geometrically, a thing that I like in the final render. You will have probably noticed that I like being geometric in my digital art and it’s something I want to have in my traditional art as well.
For the final touches I tried going with a small round brush, I usually have difficulties having a clean look for my plein air paintings, but I feel like this time by using the small brush I managed to get a clean look at least for the foreground.
I actually like how this one turned out !
Let me show you the few other I did on the same hike.
I hope it will inspire you to do the same and go around with a tiny sketchbook and a few colors to paint the beautiful world around us. Or not even the world but your morning coffee or your dog !
Talk to you soon ! A bientôt !