How to Paint Moscow, Russia in Watercolor

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Moscow, Russia (Arches, A4, Cold Pressed)

This was based off a reference photo of St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. I spent a bit more time on the drawing as the cathedral has some intricate details. Striking a balance with details is always tricky and I stick with just enough to spur viewer’s imagination.

The sky was done with a light wash of cerulean blue, and by dropping in some purple, blue and neutral tint to imply clouds. Swap to a smaller round brush further down to get in smaller clouds. For the buildings, I chose mainly warmer colours and painted them in lightly while the sky was still damp. I left some areas to mix with the sky and some with a sharp white edge. This allows some areas to blend and serves to create some different edges between the sky and buildings.

Finally, once dried I added in the figures and shadows some darker tones. I like to add a touch of white gouache at the end to bring out highlights and areas of interest.

The main process I follow when painting any landscape is to paint all the lighter tones first and at the same time, paint areas requiring some soft wet-in-wet effects like clouds, water. Then once dried, add in all the mid/full tones (darker areas and shadows). I always appreciate feedback & feel free to ask me any questions below.

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