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Watercolour Step by Step Demonstrations

'Autumn Light / Beck Hole'

This painting of Beck Hole has a combination of 'warm' and 'cool' colours.


The directional lines formed by the wall and fence on the left, together with the shadows on the right hand side provide an excellent 'lead in', introducing the viewer to the 'focal point', which is the sunlit face of the pub. Recession is achieved by the use of cooler, hazy colours in the distant hedgerow.

Materials Used:

Paper: 'Arches' Block, 140lb NOT.



 'Winsor and Newton' Artist's quality, 14ml tubes in the following colours: Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Magenta and Burnt Sienna.


Brushes: Nos. 2, 4, 8, 10 Sables.


Masking Fluid

Step 1:

The drawing was undertaken using a 2B pencil.


Next, the highlights were 'masked out' using traditional 'Rowney' Masking Fluid.


Initial washes using the following pure colours were then prepared:


Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Violet and Raw Sienna.


It may help to have a weak and strong mix of each. These three colours are the basic primaries upon which the entire painting is based.


Further washes of:


Aureolin plus Raw Sienna,

Raw Sienna plus Cobalt Violet,

Raw Sienna plus Burnt Sienna,

Raw Sienna plus Cerulean,

Cobalt Blue plus Cobalt Violet,

Cobalt Blue plus Raw Sienna,

Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta and a touch of Raw

Sienna, Ultramarine Blue plus Permanent Magenta and a touch of Raw Sienna

Ultramarine Blue plus Raw Sienna.


The paper was then wet over its entirety.




Step 2:

The paint was then added to the damp paper, using predominantly 'pure' colours, and a few of the 'lighter' mixes, allowing the pigments to mix & diffuse on the paper.


The sky was painted using only Raw Sienna, Cobalt Violet and Cobalt Blue.


The paper was then left to dry completely before the next stage.

Step 3:

Some of the masking fluid was removed from between the distant hedgerow, the foliage masses (top right) and the sunlit walls.


Note: A clean finger is essential for this process and the paper must be thoroughly dry.   


Step 4:

Additional washes using the same mixes were applied to the distant hedgerow, the foliage masses and finally, the stone wall, fenceline and buildings.


Care was taken to allow some of the original wash to show through, thus retaining some of the 'soft' edges present in the first wash   



Step 5:


The rest of the masking fluid was carefully removed.


Masking fluid always leaves some unwanted 'hard' edges, some of these were softened using a damp brush.


Fairly pale washes of Aureolin plus Raw Sienna and Cerulean Blue plus Raw Sienna can now be carefully painted over the foliage on the right hand side.


Washes of Raw Sienna plus Permanent Magenta and Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta can be added at this stage to many of the shadow areas in the hedges and cast shadows on the road.


Final shadowy washes of Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta were applied to thewall faces in shade.


Final details were added to the building, twigs and branches.


(The completed painting)

Autumn Light / Beck Hole

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