Shaded, Watercolor Painting

Brian Bailey, Shaded, Watercolor, 4″ x 4″, © 2015

I’ve been focused on shadows and light for some time now.  Shadows are like a whole new set of lines to go along with the shapes you see in life.  They extend and retract while deepening our experience of color and changing the mood of a scene.  When painting shadows, I usually start with a bright and strong version of a color and let it dry.  Then I’ll mix a wash of ultramarine blue and Vandyke brown or burnt sienna and add layers of shadow over the bright colors while looking out for highlights.  With this painting, I painted the shadows first and put the yellow and violet over them.  I really enjoy the versatility of watercolor and the fact that you can conduct an endless number of experiments to figure out what gives you the result you’re looking for.


2 thoughts on “Shadows

  1. I am frequently amazed at how difficult it is to really see shadows, how often my brain just ignores them in favor of the colorful parts of a scene, and yet they are the element of a painting that will make the colorful parts come to life. You’ve done a great job of making a simple staircase an interesting focal point. I like the red on the handrail.

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