Using a reference photo from South Carolina, master watercolor painter Christopher Leeper demonstrated how to start a watercolor landscape painting. Begin with a pencil drawing. If you know what you are going to do then draw less. If you are not sure of what you want then draw more. Pencil marks are OK, as they show the artists’ thinking.

Christopher Leeper – the first 30 – 45 minutes of the painting is the most important. His first layer of wash is done wet into wet with greens and blues.
Rocks added in the stream. Mix browns in your palette, some browns like Burnt Umber can look dead when dry.
Comparing the original photo reference to the painting

One of his influences was the works of John Singer Sargent. He prefers Hansa Yellow for it’s clarity and mixes his greens loosely on the palette. You should see variety in your green palette. Wetting the background area, he started to create a cool and misty atmosphere, moving color around in the wet surface for softness with faux squirrel brushes. Chris likes silver Brushes and daniel smith, daVinci, and rembrandt tube colors. He often uses white gouache mixed with color for highlights and to retrieve whites. He was glad we weren’t exclusively “transparent WC purists.” A scratch for highlights is most effecrtive but has to be timed right with the drying process.

Mixing darks on his palette.

Cobalt is a neutral blue, not cool or warm, so it is perfect for adjusting color value. Chris uses Thalo Green and Quin red to make his darks for high contrast in finishing.

The finished painting.
Christopher Leeper shows an example of one of his nocturne paintings.
Thank you Chris for a great demonstration!

Upcoming events for CFWS members:

  1. Our next plein air will be on March 25, Sat. at 10am, at Lake Lily Park. You can come and practice the new skills you learned from Christopher Leeper! The address is 701 Lake Lily Dr., Maitland, FL 32751

2. Our next board meeting will be March 15 at 10am. Contact Terri Chin for the link… all members are welcomed to sit in and see what your hard working board is doing for you.

3. Our next members meeting will be at the Seminole County Public Library, 215 N. Oxford Road, Casselberry, FL April 2 starting at 1:30pm. Demos by Stewart Jones and Cindy Sturla on what to do when the painting is done.

4. “Gentlemen of Watercolor” on the 3rd Thursday in May from 6 – 9pm. at the City Arts Factory, 39 s. Magnolia Avenue in orlando. You are invited to attend the opening

Saturday, the 20th of May at 1:00pm, in the City Arts Factory, there will be a “Gallery Talk” where each one of the artists will talk for 15 minutes. Your support for these stalwart members of CFWs would be appreciated!