Yellowstone Watercolor Tutorial

Here is a fun watercolor tutorial I made.

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The reference photo I used for it is from Yellowstone National Park. Living in Montana has made it really easy to go visit Yellowstone regularly. The fun thing about going so regularly is that we get to see the park in all its various seasons. Last year we saw super-blooms with fields of flowers and later the gorgeous reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn . This year we got to see amazing thunderstorms roll in and early morning fog . The morning fog looked so beautiful on this day with the sunlight shining through it. I am hoping to create some finished pieces for my Etsy shop in the next few weeks.

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You will notice some differences between the sketchbook painting and the reference photo. I simplified the landscape in my painting for several reasons. The first was because of the size of the painting. I was working in a sketchbook so I didn’t have a lot of room to paint tons of details. Also Strathmoore 400 paper is good for things like sketchbooks and simple paintings but it cant handle as many layers of glazing and scrubbing like Arches can so I simplified the painting so I wouldn’t have to fight my paper as much. The other reason i simplified the landscape is to make the video easier for you to follow and not have it be ten thousand hours long. The longer it takes me to paint a picture the more i have to speed up and trim out piece of the process. In total this painting took me about 4 hours for me to complete.

Here is the list of the tools I used:

* M. Graham Watercolors (Azo green, Hookers Green, sap green, Cad Orange, Cad yellow, Ultramarine blue, cerulean Blue, and Ultramarine Violet).
*Strathmoore 400 Watercolor Sketchbook
*Creative Mark Mimik Paint brushes (Grey Handle)
*Princeton Neptune 1/4 Dagger Brush
*Fineline Masking Fluid
*Masking Tape
*Paper Clamps
*Clean Rags
*Mechanical Pencil

 

If you have any questions about this painting please feel free to ask below.

Path By The Seaside: Beginner Pastel Tutorial

I have some big pastel commissions coming up so to help switch my mind from watercolor to soft pastels I have been doing some smaller pastel paintings. I figured it would turn this little painting into a tutorial for those who interested in learning how to paint and draw with pastels.

With it being in middle of winter here in Montana I wanted to paint something warm and sunny. I found my reference photo on pixabay.

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Before I start any pastel painting I look at my reference photo and I pick out the pastels I am going to use to paint it. This just helps me stay in the zone when painting because Im not constantly stopping to sort through hundreds of pastels deciding which ones I want.

When picking out pastels I make sure to grab some harder pastels like the pastel pencils and Nupastels from Prismacolor along with the softer ones. The harder pastels are great for the base layers of the painting because they don’t fill in the tooth of the paper as easily. With this painting being  fairly simple and smaller in size I knew I wasn’t going to be doing as many layers as normal so I didn’t grab any of my super soft pastels like my Sennelier or Schmincke . The softest pastels I used for this were Jack Richeson pastels which I find to be about medium softness.

Another thing I do when gathering my pastels is to  grab several values of each color. Pastels aren’t like watercolor where you can just add water to it to make it lighter or more paint to make it darker. You need to make sure you have a variety of values in each color. These are the colors I picked for my pastel painting and when I was painting I ended up needed more darker tones. I will show you in the video how I worked around that but if you decide to do this painting I would pick some darker cool blues, greens, and violets.

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After selecting my pastels I gathered the rest of my supplies.

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For this piece I used 6×11 inch UArt sanded paper in 600 grit. I really love Uart paper because it can take a lot of layers really well. It is also easy to tone the paper yourself using watercolor or with pastels and rubbing alcohol (which is my preferred method).

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Some other tools I used with my painting include some old paint brushes and rubbing alcohol for the underpainting. The Ink is for blocking in the darks of the painting. I like to use rubber shapers and plastic pallet knives for blending the pastels. For this piece I only used the rubber shaper with the rounded tip which i found really helpful in shaping the clouds. Not pictured is a T Ruler that I used to draw my horizon line with.

Here is the complete list of supplies and tools I used and links so you can look into them in more detail:

Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil https://goo.gl/qgq9ew

Jack Richeson Soft Pastels https://goo.gl/kPCgvn

NuPastels https://goo.gl/Bf3aBV

Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks https://goo.gl/sJvcui

Uart Sanded Paper https://goo.gl/2Uf46y

Krylon Workable fixative https://goo.gl/aKKaVn

Rubber shaper https://goo.gl/rhDSEk

Plastic Pallet Knives https://goo.gl/nskzKU

Oil brush https://goo.gl/t2SVof

White Taklon Brush https://goo.gl/oNrgWj

T-Ruler https://goo.gl/GZRy1v

(Affiliate Links)

I hope you learn some new skills from watching this tutorial. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren