Washes can prove challenging, but extremely rewarding to achieve. This of course is done by practicing and therefore perfecting this skill. What you need: quality paper, quality brushes, plenty of adequately sized mixing pots/palettes, a dry brush, a support board, low stick masking tape (for taping paper to board) and your appropriate washes ready. You also need a good sized working area where you can stand if need be as often with washes you need to tilt your paper.
For this painting you will need: Paints: blue (not ultramarine blue), yellow, orange, purple, flesh tint, yellow ochre, three greens, chromatic black and brown. Brushes: large round headed, large hake brush, chisel brush, rigger brush, small round headed. Good quality paper (140lbs or over in weight), tissue to wipe excess water off brushes.
No initial drawing is necessary for this painting: when working in transparent washes you do not want any pencil marks showing through the washes.
How to … wet the sky area. Let the water soak into the paper (1 minute usually, depending on weather). If you place your paper near a light source you will see the water moving or indeed the sheen slightly fading on the paper as the wet is absorbed into the paper. Take a large round headed brush (dry) and load it with your blue wash. Apply to paper in light pressure circular brushstrokes (I tilted the board to make the paint move, clean brush thoroughly – apply yellow to brush and apply leaving a gap between blue and yellow. Now keep the board flat as you do not want any mixing of yellow and blue. Clean brush and apply orange and then your purple. Warning!!! Do Not go back over any of those colours. These are Flat Washes and once applied you would only go over them with stronger tones or use them as glazes (when they are 100% dry) for other watercolour techniques.
Wet the sea area and apply your blue using a horizontal brushstroke, as horizontal line is a way to represent movement in water.
The sand – wet the area, apply skin tone wash, and then purple and yellow ochre so you make a variegated wash, using three different colours.
The foreground – wet the area, apply yellow and quite randomly apply your three different greens. I also used up the residue of my other washes. As the paper is drying you can mark in, using a rigger brush, grass shapes.
The Wooden Structure – I waited until the paper was dry and used a ruler and HB pencil to draw the angles of the shape. I then applied a wash of yellow ochre all over the wood. I used a range of chromatic black and then burnt umber to achieve 3D effect on the shape.
Last but not least, I painted in distant mountains and also put stronger tones on the foreground grasses.