Paint Boats, Buildings, and Water – Rovinj, Croatia.

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I recently ran a free live demonstration on how to paint the scene below – you can watch the video below, or read more to learn a few tips and tricks.

Check out the quick 5 min sketch as well that I did before – a great way to warm up and plan.

Sketch and Painting side-by-side

I painted the buildings first by adding a few different yellows over the top (a very light wash of yellow ochre, lemon yellow, Naples yellow). While the buildings were still wet, I dropped in the sky with some cerulean blue. Make sure the blue clips the yellow very slightly to allow some mixing and a soft edge. Next, I added in the water with some ultramarine blue + cerulean blue, making it lighter at the back (just dilute this mix down). As you get to the foreground, increase the concentration of the paint + add some sepia or raw umber to further darken.

The soft waves/ripples were added in with some dark strokes of ultramarine + sepia and a small round brush. I used a mixture of different grays for the shadows of the background buildings, connecting the darks in one large wash. Boats are generally kept quite light and I like adding some bright warm colors in there to contrast with the blues. Make sure to add more darkness under the boat as this will anchor it to the water.

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