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AQUARELLES - Watercolour Pencils

FOLIAGE This is where watercolour pencil really shines. Working the foliage on trees and bushes is simple with Aquarelles. You just need to know the knack. Read on……….
This example shows in more detail a technique described on a previous page in this section ( A BRUSH WITH AQUARELES ) This exercise shows the working of tree foliage with a series of layers of dry W/C pencil which are then worked with a damp brush to develop and enhance the dry pigment. The paper used in the example was Daler Rowney Langton satin finish botanical paper 300gm weight and the pencils Caran D’Ache Supracolor Soft using a selection from the 120 full set. Actual colours are not too important, nor is the actual order in which the colours are laid down, as the middle (brush) stage merges the colours together and the final step adjusts the overall tints
These first three scans show the lay down of dry colour on the paper, & show the colours used. The actual shades are not imortant as the colours will be blended several times. The purpose at this stage is to get a good build up of selected colours on the paper to be able to work with.
First of all let us remind ourselves what we are talking about. 4 images of tree leaf cover. See the colours, see the shapes and see the shadow areas
We now add water to blend and heighten the colour. A small firm, moist, brush is used to soften and merge  the pigment.   Don’t get it too wet. See how much more intense the colour is once the water is added.   The brush can be used to manipulate the colour and push it around on the paper, blending and making the leaf shapes more clearly See the inset image below for a close up of the coloured surface
BELOW See how the  brush has piled up the pigment in some areas and left thin areas behind in others.
LEFT work over the  surface again with dry colour to add detail and develop the green shades. Umber has been used for the branches
Once this has been done, further dry pigment can be added where required to bring out dark areas and adjust the green shades with browns and golds.   In this case the green was warmed with Umber and dark shadows were intensified with black. Further layers of dry colour were then applied (brown ochre for warmth, sepia in the shadows and khaki green to add light green where necessary).   Once again water was applied to bring the colours together where necessary and the final scan (6) shows the result with fine detail applied within the foliage to highlight areas of leaf that stand in front of darker green shadowed foliage. Always work from references for trees if you can. The above is shown as an example of the technique only and was not done from any actual tree.  The more you look at and into trees and how the light catches the branches and how they hang from the tree, the better you will get at drawing them.  If you work to this stage with W/C pencil, you should still have most of the ‘tooth’ of the paper available if you wish to go further with dry point wax or oil based pencils
Revised February 2019