Hello there!

Thank you for popping by to read!

I just made my second tutorial video : a watercolor painting of a baby elephant 🙂

This fantastic animal, Kai-Mook was born in Antwerp zoo in 2009. This painting I make is a remake of a painting I made at that time.

Don’t make the paper wet first: this is a painting on dry paper. I use Arches cotton paper, cold pressed with fine structure, 300 grams. Prepare two brushes with fine points. I use a sable brush by Winsor & Newton, a series 7 number 4 (but another brand with a fine point will do as well) and a synthetic Escoda brush of the Perla -series, number 8. Real good material and quite cheap. Flexible and very fine points. You can do everything with them. At the end I will use a miniature brush to add details.

arches

Load one brush with paint and one with clear water. I did everything in Sepia color. First a dark Winsor & Newton sepia and secondly a warmer sepia by Holbein.

After having made the drawing in pencil you can start painting. I erased the drawing a bit to make it quite light, because when you watercolor on the pencil, the arabic gum that is in the paint will fix the pencil lines to the paper and you will have trouble erasing afterwards. So unless you want to see your drawing lines, make them light enough.

I paint with the two brushes: I put sepia on the dark parts and at the same time I dilute the paint with the clear water to spread it over the drawing and make soft edges. Some edges I will leave sharp in the most important parts of the painting. These sharp edges will render the granulated elephant skin and its wrinkles.

The very last lines I did with a very fine sable brush: a number 0  miniature brush

Painting in monochrome (just one color) is a good exercise to think about the values of light and dark in a painting, shadows and light. Don’t be afraid to go really dark to make your painting come alive with nice contrasts.

But don’t overdo it either… I had some trouble here to know when to stop… 🙂

This painting is also a good drawing exercise: drawing with the pencil and also with the brush.

Enjoy happy painting 🙂

And: tell me if I can help you with some extra explanation if you have questions: comment below or email me.

Watercolor of a baby elephant

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