Great Blue Heron Autumn Landscape Lake Painting Watercolor Demo on Yupo Paper

Blue herons are a favorite of mine. I had taken a photo one autumn of a heron by the water's edge and have been meaning to paint it. No surprise I want to try this scene using watercolor on Yupo paper (my newest fav) to see what will happen.

To follow the exciting progress and see the final version, read on...

First of all, I know exactly what I want to do, so I skip the drawing and dive right in with paint. Using raw sienna, cad yellow, burnt sienna, cad red and a couple of blues, I dab the paint onto the paper letting the colors run together. This denotes autumn foliage along the shore:

Isn't it a beautiful thing?

Next, beginning from the top of the paper, I do a wash of pale blue to show reflections on the water. I keep this subdued because it is an overcast day. A smooth wash is not possible using a brush on this paper, but the horizontal strokes are just right for water:

The heron is next using the same blues in deeper tones. No detail, just shapes! (click any image to see it larger).

I let everything dry for a while because I want to add birch trees in front of the shrubbery (it has to be dry for this). I take a wet brush pulling it down from top to bottom removing paint along the way (so fun!). This is not possible with regular watercolor paper.

Three trees look just right:

All that is left to do is add shading and details to the tree trunks, the heron's legs, ripples around its feet and dabs of paint for the tree foliage. It's done! It worked! So exciting. I'm pleased with how it turned out:

"Blue Heron in Autumn" 11x14 in watercolor

The original painting has been sold. If you'd like a similar painting done, let me know. I'll be happy to do a painting for you!
Please note: each painting on Yupo paper is unique. I can paint a similar scene with like colors, but no two will turn out exactly alike.

I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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