Pack a Punch With Darks and Details

"Lunch in Limoux" (watercolor, 14 x 21 in.)

Ron Stocke demonstrates his process for combining shapes and ending with a punch of darks.

Step 1

Step 1
“I started with a wash of cobalt blue and added cadmium orange just before I laid in a second wash of yellow ochre for the distant buildings, and a mixture of burnt sienna and purple for the foreground,” says Ron Stocke. “Some yellow ochre and a light wash of purple were scribbled into the tree on the right. The accent colors for the awnings and faces were applied just before this first wash dried completely.”

 

Step 2

Step 2
“I hit the awning on the main building with cadmium red and added sap green to the tree,” he says. “I did this now, so that I could connect the shapes later.”

 

Step 3

Step 3
“Next, I started what would be the beginning of one large shadow that would cover almost two-thirds of the painting,” says the artist. “I was careful to start grabbing figures, signs, and other objects that I wanted to be connected and not look cut out and pasted on. I also applied shadows on the distant building.”

 

Step 4

Step 4
“I continued the shadow that I started at the furthest point of the painting all the way to the foreground, so that it now takes up most of the painting. To do so, I used a mixture of burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, and purple. I made sure to keep the shapes of the tables that are set out in rows in front of the quaint French café.”

 

Step 5

Step 5
“With most of the painting done, I quickly suggested afew figures and some other details, like the arches, additional awnings, windows, and a shadow on the tree.”

 

Final Step 

Final Step
“A finish with calligraphy competed the painting. Using a thick mixture of honey-based M. Graham’s ultramarine blue and maroon, I was able to achieve my darkest darks — an element I see missing in most watercolors.”

 

“Lunch in Limoux” (watercolor, 14 x 21 in.)

 

Ron Stocke is a Northwest Watercolorist who lives in Everett Washington. His award winning paintings have been featured in Watercolor Artist Magazine and in the Splash series and on products throughout North America.  A Signature member of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society and the Northwest Watercolor Society, an Elected member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolor, and the American Impressionist Society.  Ron paints and teaches workshops inNorth America and Europe throughout the year. He was featured in the August-September issue of PleinAir Magazine.

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