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Watercolour Step by Step Demonstrations

'Hay Bales / Roseberry Topping'

This autumn painting of Roseberry Topping has a combination of 'warm' and 'cool' colours.

The directional lines in the foreground provide a good 'lead in' and in conjunction with the hazy distance, a feeling of recession is achieved.

Materials Used:

Paper: 'Saunders Waterford' / Extra White', 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, all the relevant 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 the distant fields.

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 hills and mid distance hedgerows.

Take care to allow some of the original wash to show through and try to retain some of the 'soft' edges present in the first wash

Step 5:

Masking fluid always leaves some unwanted 'hard' edges, some of these can now be 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 all the mid distance fields.

Washes of Raw Sienna plus Permanent Magenta and Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta can be added at this stage to the Hay bales.

Step 6:

Further 'textural' directional washes of Raw Sienna plus Burnt Sienna and Burnt Sienna plus Raw Umber were applied to the foreground field.

A further, final shadow wash of Cobalt Blue plus Permanent Magenta was applied to the bales.

A little detail / calligraphy was applied to the immediate foreground to represent the stubble.



(The completed painting)

Hay Bales / Roseberry Topping

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