Intermediate Watercolor March 2024 – Session 1

Thursday Mar 28th 2024 – 1pm-3pm EST

Click here when we’re due to start Zoom link

We’ll be easing our way in to this set of sessions with this lovely castle. Nice light and shade, clear values and some textured foreground. I can see that the reflections will be tricky but they are crucial to the composition so we can’t shy away from them 🙂

I will record the drawing ahead of time and send out a link to it (it will also be on the youtube playlist too). Please do the drawing ahead of time please go ahead. I know that often people want to take time over this and it gives us more time in class for painting.

(All session materials are linked off the main page)


  • Student paper for mixing color swatches
  • 100% cotton paper for the full painting (I’ll be using 10″x10″)
  • Value scale (See the Useful Tools page)
  • Pencil/Paint/Palette/Water/Paper towels/masking tape
  • Brushes: A larger brush for the sky and foreground washes. A slightly smaller (10 or 12) for the buildings and more detailed areas.
  • Colors: Cobalt blue, Ultramarine, Burnt sienna, Vermillion/napthol/cad red (orangey red), Cad lemon/hansa yellow (greenish yellow), yellow ochre, black.

I will be using the new ChromaMagic app for mixing. Definitely not necessary for the class and the free version is always available. The app does have a nifty new feature for showing swatches that you can mix from though which will be handy in class.

Reference Photo (click to enlarge and right click to download)

Scottish castle reference image
Scottish castle reference image

Reference Photo with grid

Scottish castle reference image with grid
Scottish castle reference image with grid

My version

Scottish castle watercolor
Scottish castle watercolor

This was surprisingly tricky. I had to be careful to not let the variation in the foreground values to get too wide. Subtlety is key here.

(Videos will appear as they are done. I’ll do the drawing video today (Monday) and it should be up by this evening)

Drawing Video:

YouTube player

The Drawing:

Class Video:

YouTube player

(All Videos)

10 thoughts on “Intermediate Watercolor March 2024 – Session 1

  1. I thought the castle would be challenging, but you were true to your word when you said the castle would be easier, and the foreground and reflection more difificult. Indeed! I thoroughly botched the first attempt (tho I like the castle); so did a second. I don’t like the castle as much and made only the most minimal of improvementes in the foreground and reflections! Still, a very good exercise and lots of learning.

    1. I like them both. And I wouldn’t say you botched the first one. The thing I see is that you compressed the values on the castle compared to the foreground which stops the painting working as a whole. Either bringing down the shadows on the castle a smidge or pulling up the darks in the foreground would unify things.

      The second one does hang together better definitely but, for me, the castle has gone too brown and the values in the light are probably just a tad too low. Lovely strength in the colors though.

      Really nice job.

  2. This was quite challenging but also a lot of fun.
    Not sure about the foreground ..I fiddled and the reflections are not quit vertical but over all not too bad:)

  3. I think i overworked the reflection, and the foreground. But i left my sky alone, and i think it turned out well! Always learning.

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