Step By Step Watercolor Demonstration : Green Bell Pepper

In this step by step watercolor demonstration, you will learn several essential watercolor painting techniques. I use these techniques to paint just about every subject.

You will also get a glimpse at how I preserve light area without having to resort to masking fluid. With my method, you won't have to deal with the hard edges left behind by masking fluid.

Here is a photograph of a green bell pepper that is lit from two directions. For my painting, I will recast it so that the light is coming from one side only. Thus, the shadow will be distinctly slanted to the opposite side.

watercolor demonstration bell pepper image

I start by creating a drawing of the pepper with a number 2HB pencil. No harsh or heavy lines here; the highlights and some bright lit areas are outlined, but not emphasized, as I like to leave some room for artistic expression. Photorealism is not my goal.

watercolor demo bell pepper 1

Step by Step Watercolor Demonstration

  1. Wet The Highlights
    I use a No.10 round brush loaded with clear water. Here I have tinted it with a little bit blue so you can see it more easily. I preserve the highlights this way instead of using masking fluid.

    watercolor demo pepper 2

  2. Mingle Colors and Paint From Dry To Wet
    When the water settles, I use a No.12 round brush to mingle colors on the pepper toward the wet highlight areas. This way I will ensure a soft edge around the highlights. I alternate the colors on the dry paper using ultramarine blue, sap green, thalo green, and cadmium

    watercolor demo pepper 3

  3. Paint The Shadow
    Continuing to mingle the colors, I blend ultramarine and cadmium red deep for the cast shadow underneath the bell pepper.

    watercolor demo pepper 4

  4. Add Strong Darks
    Now while the body of the pepper is still somewhat damp, I take a flat brush either to add more ultramarine blue and phalo blue. I can tilt the brush to define the outlines of the darks. The timing is always tricky when it comes to adding more colors into an already-wet area.

    watercolor demo pepper 5

  5. Add Volumes
    I adjust the tonal values of each mingle color, controlling the amount of water and pigments as I go, to cover all the areas. The middle tones are built up, and the stem of the pepper is also covered.

    watercolor demo pepper 6/7

  6. Acceuntate The Lights
    I mingle some sap green and cadmium yellow medium on the light area. I also glaze the outer part of the light area of the pepper with more green to intensify the colors. Most of the areas are a little damp, so this is a good time to add more accent darks as well.

    watercolor demo pepper 8

  7. Finish It Up
    Viola! And here is the finished piece. No need to keep going, or I might overwork it.

watercolor demo pepper 9

To summarize this step by step watercolor demo,

  • Wet the highlights and light areas
  • Work from dry areas toward the wet highlights
  • Depending on how hard or soft you want the edges and transitions to be, work on the darks while they are dry or damp.
  • Add sharp accents when the area is almost dry.

Practice the above steps often. You will be amazed at how fast you will master the watercolor painting techniques presented here.

› Step By Step Watercolor Painting Demonstration



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