herringbone watercolor exercise from Creating Textures in Watercolor

More watercolor lessons from Cathy Johnson – boulder and herringbone

My studies from Cathy Johnson’s watercolor book Creating Textures in Watercolor continue with a boulder and herringbone fabric texture. These two subjects spoke to me, and I wanted to see how close I could get to her versions.

It’s when I try to mimic her paintings when I see the nuances of Johnson’s skills — her paintings look rather carefree and loose, but recreating that is challenging!

I keep seeing tutorials that suggest using ultramarine blue for shadows, so I’m trying to get a handle on that technique. Mixing ultramarine and burnt sienna is apparently a go-to combo and I’m starting to see why. The range of colors available with just these two mixing together is quite extensive, and very useful.

boulder watercolor exercise from Creating Textures in Watercolor

My version of a boulder with shadow, painted from the lesson in “Creating Textures in Watercolor”

boulder watercolor exercise from Creating Textures in Watercolor - Cathy Johnson's version

Original version from “Creating Textures in Watercolor”

herringbone watercolor exercise from Creating Textures in Watercolor

My version of the herringbone fabric texture, painted from the lesson in “Creating Textures in Watercolor”

herringbone fabric watercolor exercise from Creating Textures in Watercolor - Cathy Johnson's version

Original version from “Creating Textures in Watercolor”

One of the keys for these two paintings was to set them aside to fully dry before going over with details. I could have used a smaller brush on the cap to get finer details with the paneling and texture.

So far for me, achieving a loose, casual look hasn’t been loose or casual at all! I wonder if I’ll reach an ability to actually feel more spontaneous with my painting and drawing strokes…

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