The Hectorville Covered Bridge in Vermont
This is the on-location drawing I did in my travel sketchbook which I used for reference after returning to my studio.
Back in my studio I did this quick little “thumbnail” value study to make sure my design would work, and to define my lights and darks.
After stretching and mounting my 140 lb. Arches watercolor paper on board, I did a careful outline drawing with a 4H pencil. This will serve as my guide as I lay down my glazes.
First I lay in the sky wash using a wet-in-wet technique. While still wet I drop in some of the warmer light values on the trees, as well as the cooler and softer distant trees.
Now I decide to move to the foreground rocks and use a combination of warms and cools letting them blend naturally to create the rounded forms of the rocks.I begin to shape the shadows on the underside of the bridge.
The finished painting has much more contrast of darks and lights. You can see how important it was to preserve the lights from the beginning.
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