Projects Page  
Lighthouse in Maine, US - Watercolour
The bushes used in this painting are Winsor & Newton Cotman brushes and I used 4 in this painting.
1 1/2 inch flat wash brush, 3/4 inch flat wash brush, Number 8 Round and Number 2 Rigger.  The paints I used were Winsor & Newton Artists Quality Watercolours.  Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Hookers Green, Light Red and Alizarin Crimson. I also used a colour by the SAA called Sand Stone.  I used Winsor & Newton Artists Watercolour Paper, 140lbs and simply taped it, on all edges, to a board. Click here if you would like to purchase any of these items at a discounted price.
Copyright © 2014 by Leanne Ellis   •   All Rights reserved   •   E-Mail:
Back to Projects
To finish this painting add some shadow mix (Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson and a touch of Burnt Sienna) with the Number 8 Round brush to the right side of the rocks as well as at the top where the grasses overhang.  Define your grasses use the 3/4 inch Flat Wash brush and a mix of Hookers Green and Burnt Sienna.  Flick up here and there to create grasses and add touches of Ultramarine Blue for depth.  Take off your tape to reveal a nice straight border.

I hope you've enjoyed this project.  If you would like me to review your work please feel free to e-mail me at with a digital picture of your achievement or tag me on twitter @LeanneEllisArt
Click on any of the images to see a larger picture.  As you can see from this first picture, I again started with a very simple outline drawing.  Don't go into too much detail as it will be lost when the paint starts to go on.
Using the 1 1/2 inch wash brush, pre-wet the entire sky area fill it in with a strong Ultramarine Blue.  It needs to be strong as it will dry lighter than when you put it on. Rinse out your brush, squeeze out excess water and take out some clouds.  Make sure the brush is damp to get the best effect with clouds.  Wash out your brush again and mop up where your sky has gone into your lighthouse.  Let this dry completely.
For the Sea I used a mix of Ultramarine Blue, a touch of Hookers Green and a touch of Burnt Sienna.  I used my 3/4 inch flat wash brush for this making sure that the horizon line is perfectly straight.  As you come towards the beach start to tap on and leave white spaces to imitate breaks in the waves.  For the beach I filled the area in with Charles Evans Sand and added a touch of Yellow Ochre and Ultramarine Blue.  All this was done with the 3/4 inch flat wash brush.
As you can see here, the buildings have jumped to life and there is greenery all around.  For the Buildings I used my Number 8 Round Brush to apply the shadow.  Normally, shadow on white buildings is blue.  However, I have added a touch of Alizarin Crimson and a touch of Burnt Sienna as the lighthouse is against the sky and this will separate the colours.  You can see from this picture where I have put the shadow mix.  For the lighthouse itself simply stroke the shadow mix down the right hand side and soften it around the building with a clean damp brush to give the impression of a round building.  For the trees I used my 3/4 inch flat wash brush and a mix of Hookers Green and Burnt Sienna.  I stroked down using the sharp edge for the trunk and used the corner of the brush to create the foliage.  Add touch of blue to the right hand side to add depth.  For the grasses I simply filled the area with Yellow Ochre followed by a mix of Hookers Green and Burnt Sienna followed by Ultramarine Blue.  Make sure the colour is darker in the foreground.  Let this all dry.
As you can see in this picture, there are some nicely defined rocks in the background and a blobbed mess in the foreground.  It is simple to create rocks.  Don't worry about painting them individually as all rocks start life as those foreground blobs.  The background rocks are a little lighter.  Firstly blob on Charles Evans Sand, followed by Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue.  While this is all sopping wet use the edge of a credit card or palette knife to scrape out the shape of your rocks making sure you leave dark bits between them.  Repeat this process in the foreground except leave out the Charles Evans Sand as this will lighten the mix on the page.
As you can see in this image the rocks are complete.  Now its time to let it dry....pop the kettle on.
There is no need to wait for the sea to dry.  Add some details to the buildings on the right.  For the roof and top section of the lighthouse I mixed Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna making sure the mix is more brown than black.  I used my Number 8 Round brush and filled in the top of the lighthouse.  The other roofs were done using just Burnt Sienna.  The building to the far left was covered using a mix of Raw Umber and Light Red.  Now add more Ultramarine Blue to the mix used for the top of the lighthouse.  Using my Number 2 Rigger brush I painted the railings and added detail to the windows.  At this point go back to your sea and using the same mix you used to paint the sea, add shadows under some of those white patches to give shadow and depth.
Print Project