Watercoloring the German streetscape

Streetscap with watercolors added

Streetscape with watercolors added 

This drawing has quite a bit more color added to it than the previous one.  I started with painting the red timber trim and flower boxes and then moved on to the walls.  I left the upper area white but darkened the lower areas.  The brown building on the left also provided a nice contrast.  I grounded the building by darkening up the street.  Unlike the road in the last one with the brick patterns, this one has nothing to distinguish it.  I may decide to darken it up a little bit more.

I decided to get bold with the sky this time around.  I discovered that if I put some ink lines on another sheet of board and then wet them, I had a light watercolor to add quickly to the real painting.  I wet the sky area pretty well with clear water and then loaded up the brush from the prewatered lines.  I quickly dabbed the wide brush into the sky area and moved it around.  Prewetting the sky with plenty of water seemed to let the ink wash act more like watercolor and not just stain the board wherever I touched it.  I’m pleased with the effect.  Some of the pinks appear along with the blues, giving the sky some texture.

I’m not happy with the green foliage between the buildings so I’m just letting it sit a couple of days before I make any adjustments.  Maybe I’ll add some yellows to it.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy Dauer
    Jul 17, 2015 @ 07:54:59

    The architectural details look terrific! I agree about the foliage between the buildings, but I know you’ll figure it out!


  2. Dix
    Jul 17, 2015 @ 12:01:46

    Wow — that’s a lot of work. Like your sky treatment.
    I agree that the green needs something — you’ll get it right. I think darkening the street just up against the main building, sort of like a shadow from the overhanging second story could be good????


    • ruthsartwork
      Jul 17, 2015 @ 16:27:58

      Thanks, Dix. I think the sky turned out well too – and I was worried. I think the key was to saturate the area well before I transferred the ink. I wanted to use the speedball ink because the colors would be more unifying and a bluish watercolor. a plus was that some of the pinks came too.

      I think I will wait until tomorrow to tackle the green between the buildings. Another day for a totally fresh look. and I do think I ill darken up the street some too.


  3. mysiteexists
    Jul 18, 2015 @ 10:51:06

    Hey! Sorry for the inconvenience but I would love to know that are u an architect??


    • ruthsartwork
      Jul 18, 2015 @ 11:48:34

      No, but thanks for the compliment. However, My husband designed and built timber frames in Indiana for many years. Hence my interest in and experience with architecture and architectural drawing. We couldn’t afford someone for our publicity work, so as the artist in the family, I took over the drawing aspect of the business. I grew to truly love it, especially older buildings.


      • mysiteexists
        Jul 19, 2015 @ 05:53:53

        Beautifully great!
        But I have got one more question what type of pen do u use?.


        • ruthsartwork
          Jul 19, 2015 @ 07:53:52

          For these drawings, I use the smallest size .13 Speedball Elegant Writer Calligraphy pen and a water wash to flow the ink (see Carol King”s blog dated slightly before my first effort for a technique reference) . Normally I use a .35 Kor-I-Noor refillable ink pen with permanent ink. This is just experimental fun.

        • mysiteexists
          Jul 19, 2015 @ 08:43:40

          Great!:) 😉

  4. lesliepaints
    Jul 18, 2015 @ 16:55:46

    I think the color is great and the sky came out really soft, Ruth. You really stepped up to the challenge with this pen. Wonderful detail managed so well!


    • ruthsartwork
      Jul 18, 2015 @ 18:14:23

      Thanks, Leslie. Today I went back and darkened up the greenery and the ground. I messed around with adding a little more color to the bottom of the buildings and I do like it better. I think the key to the sky was saturating the area with water first. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.


  5. Carol King
    Jul 18, 2015 @ 23:25:09

    I really like what you’ve done with the elegant writing and adding color.


  6. Trackback: Watercolor and the “Elegant Writer” | Leslie White

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