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Anders Andersson Watercolor 'Boats' Tutorial
Anders Andersson tells you step-by-step how to paint with watercolors in this brief tutorial. Find all the watercolor paints, watercolor brushes, paper, supplies and more used in this example right here at DanielSmith.com.

Click Here to See Anders Andersson's Watercolor 'Boat' Palette with Free 238-Dot Card and Watercolor Brush (a $40.26 value)
... or pick up just the supplies you need here.

View the video tutorial.

Step 1 - The Sketch
Step 1 - The Sketch
I often do a complex sketch of my subject. The sketch will help me determine the composition, values and proportions of my subject. Then I transfer my sketch onto the watercolor paper using a pencil, to make a simple line drawing.

Anders' Colors:
- Neutral Tint
- Burnt Sienna
- Anthraquinoid Red
- Indian Yellow
- Cobalt Blue
- French Ultramarine
- Cadmium Orange Hue
Step 2 - First Wash
Step 2 - First Wash
My first layer is a wash with a weak blend of pigment and a lot of water. As the wash travels downward, I add in different colors. For this painting, I began with DANIEL SMITH Cobalt Blue and add some other colors when I get closer to the boats. I work very wet so that the colors in the wash blend smoothly. The sketch helps me to know where to save some white areas for the boats.

Note: The painting is on a board with an angle of about 30 degrees, this helps the colors in my wash to mix and mingle on the paper giving a smooth transition of color.

Next I put in darker pigment, a stronger wash of Cobalt Blue in the mix for the water. Keeping the stronger pigment towards the bottom of my paper. Still working very wet.
Step 3 - Second Wash
Step 3 - Second Wash
I allow the painting to dry a bit, then add in my second wash. This second mix is thicker with more pigment than the first one.

With this mix, I put in reflections, shadows and paint the suggestion of clouds behind the boats. I also connect forms and increase contrast to give the boats more dimension.

The waves are painted with DANIEL SMITH Neutral Tint and Ultramarine, I use a loose horizontal brush movement when painting to suggest waves in the water. I make the waves bigger in the front (at the bottom of my paper) and smaller far away.
Step 4 - Finish up Step 4 - Finish up
Time to put in details! Here I use a rigger with an extremely pointed tip to draw the masts, and the rope rigging for the sails. When you paint the masts and the lines for the rigging, you do it with your whole arm and in one movement so that the lines have good flow. Practice your arm movement a couple of times before committing your brush to the paper so that the gesture is true. Keep adding in the details for the boats.

Anders Andersson: How is it that one gets stuck on watercolour painting?

For me it's about curiosity and an exiting journey through chaos and order. The colour hue, the paper, the moisture in the brush, the individual character of each colour and your own state of mind make the watercolour so direct. You are always just a few brush strokes away from merely a flat muddy mess with no interest.

Sometimes the colour seems to blend in a chaotic way. During the drying process the character changes with every second. Experiment by combining Ultramarine and Burnt Umber together. Sit an enjoy the drama that unfolds on the paper while this mixture dries. That’s how you get stuck on watercolour painting.