I have a beautiful French countryside home watercolor to share with you this month! This commission came to me mid-November last year and the client wanted the watercolor to be a Christmas gift for her mom. This quick turnaround meant I had to get to work quickly! No worries, this was a joy to work on and everything came together just in time for the holidays.
The client sent multiple photos of her mother’s house in the French countryside and originally asked for something pretty small, around a 6”x8” painting. While a painting this size could easily fit on a desk or table, it also meant that the painting would be less detailed than something on a larger scale. In the end, we decided that a larger painting would be better suited for a project of this scale. We settled on an 11”x14” size watercolor, large enough to allow for detail but small enough that I could finish it before the holiday deadline.
As an architect, it’s no surprise that I took a lot of care in sketching out the house before I started painting. Even though the painting isn’t a 100% accurate depiction of the house (due to the 11x14 ratio of the painting), it needed to be accurate enough to feel realistic. To begin, I sketched out the basic components of the house. Once the scale of the house felt appropriate, I sketched some of the detail elements to make sure I had the right scale. I even used some math (gasp!) to get the proportions right. Next, I added masking fluid to the borders of the house so I could paint the sky without getting blue paint on the roofs. Once the sky was complete, I removed the masking fluid around the borders of the house and added new masking fluid to the detailed elements of the house that needed to remain white. Then, I added color to the main elements of the house (roof and masonry). Once this was dry, I added shadows in varying shades of gray. Once the house was complete, I moved on and painted the gardens in the foreground. Finally, I removed all the masking fluid and outlined the house with Sakura Micron pens (sizes 0.30mm and 0.35mm). You can take a look at this post for the materials I used to create this painting.
See some of the process shots below:
And then the final painting!
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