Today I will be showing how to paint the
Blue Ridge Mountains! I suggest to use 140-pound watercolor paper, preferably
cold press. My size is 9″ x 7″ I will use three different brushes: one is
wider, Hake, for wash; medium size; and small size for the detailed painting.
You will need five colors: Payne’s Gray; French Ultramarine; Cerulean Blue; Winsor
Red; and Raw Sienna. Here I will test my colors. This is my little
study and the reference for my painting. I will be starting with painting the sky.
First I will need to wet my paper with the wider brush. Make sure it is moist throughout. I’m not wetting the paper all the way to
the edges and leaving a little border. It is a good idea to wet your paper twice
because paper will absorb all the water. By mixing French Ultramarine and Cerulean Blue, I will have my first color for the wash of the sky. Using a medium sized brush, starting from the top, apply the first color, slowly moving to the center. Clean your
brush with water and make the lower side of the sky softer. My paper is
attached to the wall but of course you can paint on the table. A mix of Windsor
Red and Raw Sienna is my next color. I collected it on my brush and I’m
removing excess of the extra water on the napkin. Now, starting from the bottom, slowly moving to the center apply your second color. Clean your brush with a napkin and blend both of the colors. I’m going to paint a few clouds with a
mix of Payne’s Gray and Blue Ultramarine. It is very important to remember that
you can only paint clouds while the paper is still wet. You will have about
10 minutes since you started painting the sky until the paper is dry. When you
feel that the paper is already starting to dry you will need to stop. Fixing your
mistakes will just make it worse. Too much water on a brush is also
going to cause problems. Thats’s why you need to find a fine line in between wet and dry. I often use a paper towel to get extra wetness from my brush. Now you
would need to make sure that your paper is fully dry. You can either let it dry by itself or use a
hairdryer. If the paper is cold when you touch it, then it is not dry yet. Time to paint the mountains. I would mix
Cerulean Blue and a little bit of French Ultramarine. The color must be very light as the mountains are the furthest. I would slowly paint the peaks of the mountains. then wet my brush and soften the lower edge. After you finished with the second layer of mountains, you need to let it dry through out again. Now that you know the main steps you can continue adding more and more layers of the mountain peaks. Every time adding a more intense color of blue; painting the peaks; washing the lower edge; and drying through out. The closer mountains would
have some details . I would paint trees coming from the tops of the main line Keep your brush vertical and some times come out. If you are not sure if you can do it from the 1st time, you can always practice on an extra piece of paper. Don’t forget to soften the lower edge. I will do one more layer of the mountains To make the peaks darker: while the paper is still wet, I am adding darker tones for the top parts. For the final silhouetted layer I’m going to be using the pure Payne’s Gray, which is the darkest color. Fell free to add more details as grass and rocks. Here goes my crooked pine tree. Nature does straight shapes rarely, that’s why I am trying to keep my branches not straight. Use your imagination while painting the trees. I think one or two trees is quite enough for this work. These are the last touches of this painting, but don’t forget to sign your masterpiece!