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This Topic is described as Canal Walks because it includes two canalside pictures. The older sbs is ‘Grand Union’ which has been around for many years The second one ‘Coventry Canal’ is much newer both use Watercolour Pencils to develop stronger colour but you can use wax pencils over the W/C pencils if you wish. THE ACTUAL TUTORIALS ARE PROVIDED BELOW IN THE SHAPE OF PDF FILES GIVING YOU FULL DETAILS OF THE PROCESS BY WHICH YOU CAN COMPLETE YOUR OWN VERSION OF THESE PICTURES
GRAND UNION A Step by Step using either watercolour or wax pencils
COVENTRY CANAL A Step by Step using watercolour pencils
TREES in watercolour Pencil Both these exerises involve the use of watercolour pencils and also involve trees in full leaf. It will be useful, if you haven’t already looked at the section on trees and foliage elsewhere on the site here, to have a quick look at the development of a tree in leaf. The principle involves the use of a scribbled stroke of different suitable colours on to your piece of watercolour paper. If you have not already tried this out, I suggest you copy the example shown here on a separate piece of paper to develop your skills
You can see on the left the result of laying down a series of overlapping layers of scribbled strokes in the shape the tree will become. We will need areas of light and shade and sometimes spaces where the sky shows through. Bear this in mind when you come to apply the brush to the paper and ensure you leave spaces and make areas of stronger colour. I have used mainly greens and yellows here with a small amount of brown
This is our tree with more layers of dry pencil colour added. You can see that I have used two or three different greens, a greenish yellow, some ochre, and some darker brown. Make sure that you go for a grey brown if you have one, most tree trunks and branches are grey and therefore something like a Bistre, or Sepia works well to put in some branch structure. Leave spaces where the branches disappear behind leaves. You can see here that I have carefully left some sky showing through.
I show you here what the result is of taking a DAMP brush to the pencil pigment. Using a small nylon type watercolour brush with just enough water in it to feel damp agaist the back of your hand, the pencil scribbles have been merged leaving areas where the colour is stronger and areas much lighter
That small springy brush will be able to move the colour around on the paper and you will be able to make the shapes you need to show the light on the tops of the branches and the shadow on the undersides. You will also be able to work some light into the tree trunk as seen in the lower part of this final picture of our exercise With these techniques you will be ready to get to work on the canal scenes. Bear in mind that you can still go into that final tree image with dry wax or watercolour pencil to add fine detail if you work with a fine point on the pencil. All the structure is there and the paper can take a lot more dry colour.
GRAND UNION This is your reference photograph. It is made up from two images, one of the Grand Union canal at Old Wolverton, MIlton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. and a separate photo of a narrow boat moored up on a canal in Staffordshire The bridge you see is an old road bridge
You can download the photo reference on a PDF file here
TUTORIAL NOTES GRAND UNION Here you can download the 3 pages of notes which follow the development of the Grand Union Picture. This has been a popular exercise for course students to do over many years. If I were to write the notes down again now, I would probably do them differently, but in 2005 this was state of my art as far as instruction went !! You can download the notes on a PDF file here
As noted elsewhere in the Step By Step section, these exercises and the photos included are provided as a basis for learning and practice and are all copyright to peter Weatherill . They may not be used commercially without the specific approval of the copyright holder
Grand Union - Copyright peter weatherill 2005
WALKING THE CANAL The Coventry Canal near to Hopwas in Staffordshire This exercise was developed to show a ‘pen & wash’ type of technique for watercolour pencils and was first put together for a demonstration day at Knuston Hall College for Adult Education in Northamptonshire. Working this picture of the scene depends on laying down dry colour from watercolour pencils which is then manipulated on the paper. A relatively soft watercolour paper was used, Hahnemuhle ‘Andelucia’. This is a cold pressed paper with a definite grain to the surface. it is 500 gsm - so quite a heavy weight, but does not require any stretching to take watercolour. There are 9 pages of notes in the download PDF files which include a full sized photo of the picture above. You can download the PDF files of the notes and reference from here This reference picture and the notes provided here are all copyright peter weatherill 2015
Images of my own versions of these pictures are shown below