A marina in watercolor

This week, I painted a landscape with this watercolor painting of a marina in Stockholm. How to simplify a landscape with a lot of information ? I show you my way to paint it.

Reference picture, a marina in Stockholm

Before this painting of a marina, i’ve sketched two small paintings very quick in order to have an idea of what will be difficult. My reference image (on the left side) is quite heavy in details, as you can see it. Starting with a small painting (here 10×15 cm) is a good way to get rid of a lot of details. Then the simplification work will be easier on a bigger format. In the same idea, by changing the colors to an almost monochromatic tones, I can simplify what will be on my painting.

This two sketches helped me to understand what is important in the image and what isn’t. For example, the ships in the foreground are painted in a very quick manner and don’t have much details. But they can be understood just by the masts. So if there is one thing i should paint right, it is the mast !

Watercolor of a marina in video

Une marina à l'aquarelle

For this marina painting i haven’t used my trusty brushes Escoda Aquario and Raphaël 803. But i’ve used flat and synthetic brushes. So exactly the opposite of  what i’m used to ! I can’t really say why, but i like to paint landscapes with flat brushes. A flat brush is very handy to paint some big areas. But it is also good for details when used on the edge. And i wanted to discover the capacity of this Escoda Último which entirely synthetic and build to imitate natural hairs. My first impression is that it does the job very nicely !

Brushes : Escoda Último 1″, Escoda Versatil 1/2″, Silver Brush Black Velvet 1/4″ dagger shape.
Paper : Arches cold pressed
Colors : Ultramarine blue (Daniel Smith), Permanent alizarine crimson (Daniel Smith), Lavander (Daniel Smith), Neutral tint (Winsor & Newton), Cobalt blue (Schmincke).

And here you have the finish painting (click to enlarge) :

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