Capturing Colour and Light in Watercolours

mixing the paint

Autumn is here in Perth,  what a splendid relief! Lovely pleasant days of cloudy skies to get outside and enjoy nature. And Paint!    The watercolour painting,  “Colours of Autumn” reflects the gentle beauty of the season we are now in.

mixing the paint
Mixing the Paints

Step one is of course the inspiration, next is the colour selection and the mixing the paints.

For my  Autumn palette I’d planned on it  being quite warm with orange, sunflower yellow, golden umber, burnt umber for some darks.   I wanted the background of the painting and the water area to be the same warm butter yellow, as if it was just at dawn.

Colours of Autumn watercolours
Colours of Autumn watercolours

I dampened the Masa paper thoroughly, applied my lighter colours first. Next the mid tones, quickly so that the colours would merge nicely. Then the darkest tones last.

I let the colours run down by gently tilting the paper just a little, then sitting it back down.   I finished it by using a skewer to ‘draw’ into the tree  foliage areas to create a few tree trunks and branches.  It needed to be done ….  judiciously.  Or run the risk of creating chaotic frenzied lines all over that can not be  removed.

I did a fast check to make sure that there was  plenty  soft edges and sufficient ratios of light tone, mid tone and dark tone. Looked ok! Fairly quick & simple, and no mud as long as I use a light touch,  and don’t get carried away with too many colours.

This was a good sample of the type of painting that our classes at the UWA extension    “Watercolour Landscapes for Beginners”  will be working on next term, as are the paintings below.

impressionistic watercolour landscape
Blurred Lines, Watercolour Landscape


prussian blue and raw umber landscape
Prussian Blue Raw Umber landscape watercolours


Autumn Landscape prussian blue pb27
Autumn Aglow Landscapes prussian mixed with quinacridone gold, burnt sienna mixed media on textured board

Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

2 thoughts on “Capturing Colour and Light in Watercolours

  1. You make it sound so easy but of course it begins with your step one and is all about lightness, patience and a little (or perhaps a lot) of serendipity. Lovely image Debi. Happy Thursday, or of course it’s Friday for you. Best wishes 🙂

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