Painting Old Car Scenes

Contributed by Ron Morrison, Courtney, BC - Canada

This drawing is from a photo I took in an "art installation" which was actually a junkyard. I draw on anything handy, no tracing from the photo. I then trace my own drawing using tracing paper...then transfer the drawing using graphite paper on to the watercolour sheet...in this case a half sheet. Doing it this way I never touch the paper with a pencil and I can use the fine transfer lines in the painting...for such things as shingles or tree branches. Mostly, though, they disappear.

I use Dioxazine Purple from the venerable Winsor Newton Company to paint the cool underpainting areas....


Then the warm undertones...using a transparent yellow...

Now as the other two transparent primaries...Permanent Red and Winsor Blue (Green Shade)...mix and mingle.. you have three primaries and three secondaries... this is a combination of initial underpainting in purple and yellow, warm and cool...and then adding the remaining two primaries in the second layer while the undertones are still a little wet...this is the basis of colour harmony, warm and cool areas and the three overlapping primaries giving a full range of colouration, including primaries, secondaries and tertiaries that unify a painting.

Denser purple in the cool shadow areas...

Now, a rusty orange brown from the yelllow and red or a burnt sienna can be introduced...

Greens, browns and grays mixed from the primaries and whatever else is handy...the branches are painted with a rigger and some of the original traced lines can still be seen as fine branches..

Shapes are defined with some negative painting employed (left side of the shack)....areas such as the tree on the right are painted around to save hi-lites...shadows are deepened....

Colours richened, shapes refined, details put in. No masking was used. The painting photographed a little darker than it is in real life...it is transparent in the dark areas...

> View more of Ron Morrison's paintings in his Watercolour Addicts' Gallery