How to Draw and Paint London and Santorini

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Here’s another unique workshop that I ran recently where we went through how to Draw and Paint London and Santorini.

In each demonstration, there are some unique benefits of using pure watercolor and adding in the drawing with an ink pen beforehand. I’ll go through more of my thoughts below.

The workshop is available for free here on YouTube:

Free Live Workshop #14

Drawing in pen is a great way to add more definition to your watercolor paintings. Normally with watercolor paintings, a pencil drawing is firstly added which is covered with watercolor. This makes the pencil barely visible. As a result, the painting appears ‘softer’, with less defined edges. When we use an ink pen for the drawing, the overall effect is more illustrative and defined.

How to Draw and Paint London and Santorini - santorini line and wash illustration
Santorini – A4

Here, I’ve made sure that I put in just enough detail for the pen drawing, especially for the domes, stairs on the left which are close to the foreground. It’s so important to detail more in the foreground to create a feeling of depth in your drawing. If you look at the buildings in the background, they are mostly white with a touch of warmth.

To further emphasize the feeling of light on the buildings, I mixed a dark cerulean/cobalt blue and added this to the water in the background. By cutting around all the other lighter shapes such as the land, domes, buildings, mountains, we automatically make those objects pop out and come forward. This technique is called ‘negative painting’.

Try it yourself by firstly painting a lighter-colored object or subject such as some leaves, and then using a darker color for the background, cutting around the lighter leaves. You’ll be surprised at the result!

How to Draw and Paint London and Santorini - london watercolor painting
London – A4

This London scene was painted in two basic washes. The first wash was the light blue sky (cerulean blue), the warmth of the buildings and ground (yellow ochre/lemon yellow), and the dark shadow in the foreground. I added the foreground shadow while the paint in the first wash was still wet.

The second step was just to add in all the remaining dark areas for the buildings, cars, and figures in the foreground/background. Remembering the light source is to the left, I made sure to add shadows on the buildings to the left and join them to the shadows on the ground too. Make sure all your shadows run in one direction!

I hope these tips have helped you learn how to Draw and Paint London and Santorini. The full live demonstration which is narrated in real-time is available here and I recommend that you watch it if you want to see a more detailed explanation of how to create these two landscapes.

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