I took five photos of my watercolor supplies to get a good one for the article. I'll reuse that one in other watercolor articles too, no sense bothering to redo it for "How to Paint a Graded Wash in Watercolor," etc. I can stretch watercolor painting into four or five useful articles at least, with different methods and tricks. Each of which is worth an article, imo. Because I listed this Flat Wash article as Moderate, not Easy. I was very tempted to make it Moderately Challenging because getting washes right is a huge pain for me. It doesn't matter how well I can draw. Washes are horrible to get perfectly smooth. Wet into wet is a bit unpredictable and fun, but flat washes without light and dark areas, or smooth graded washes are hard to get just right!
I am waiting for a line of masking fluid to get perfectly dry so that I can scan my watercolor block and show that step.
The first wash has dried and it's not perfectly flat. It has vague areas of light and dark on it because it bubbled while it was drying. It's not a bad looking sky wash so I'm going to do a painting with it and include instructions for "how to fix a flat wash that's not flat" by adding clouds. I drew in another layer of peaks with masking fluid and some snowcaps with masking fluid, just to try to make it a decent painting.
I think I'll probably add a high flying bird after demonstrating how to lift soft clouds out of a dried wash -- but for now I'm back to watching masking fluid dry. Eh, this will be a nice little painting. But the article is NOT as simple as I thought and the painting is starting to look good enough to be an OSWOA.
Maybe I'll save this article as a draft while paint is drying and write up an easier one on something as simple as the tree bark was.
I changed the title from "How to Paint a Flat Wash in Watercolor" to "How to Paint a Mountain Scene in Watercolor" which of course does not imply my flat wash should've been flat. It's got neat little cloudy shapes happening in it and I'm going to demonstrate lifting by turning those into real clouds after paint dries and I can remove the masking fluid on the snowcaps. I put lots of masking fluid on this one. It's neat to see teal snowcaps on purple and brown mountains, they just look... twisted. Or like some kind of blue-green ice cream topping went on over them... lol
The final painting:
And the nice drawing for Chiaroscuro, also in good high resolution scan if you click on it:
I put both versions in the article, with white edge fading in or cut off entirely on the drawing. But I posted the fade-out edge here since I think it's a little more artistic, even if a mat will hide it unless it's floated.
Edit: did another article while watching paint dry. How to Draw Foliage with Chiaroscuro" is Moderately Easy for anyone that's got colored Conte crayons around to do it with. Or Nupastels or soft pastels for that matter, I just like doing these in colored Conte crayons and do the demos with the little set so anyone who likes the articles only has to get the trial size to do the art.
Edit: At last finished How to Paint a Mountain Scene in Watercolor which came out pretty good. You can see it behind the LJ-cut. I put another image of it (Duh!) and should probably start using lighter images on eHow anyway so they're easier for the eHow software to mangle.