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Early Winter Morning in Ohio, Watercolor Process


This painting was inspired by a beautiful early morning, one winter day in Ohio. This is a watercolor painting with some white ink elements. Here I'll tell you about my inspiration and process for this 7 x 5 inch painting.

I love early mornings. Although throughout college and into my first couple years of working and being married I considered myself a night owl and definitely not a morning person. I have turned the other direction on that and it is because of the amazing benefits of starting your day out with a good morning routine. I don’t want to get off track from the art stuff but I love having my early morning routine before the work starts and I love to see the sunrise. 

One day I was out driving early in the morning just after sunrise and I’m pretty sure it was the most beautiful morning of this winter. The sky was a mix of pale yellow and azure blue, the fields were full of icy golden brown grass and plants, gone dormant for the winter. The light of the sun was shining through the trees, casting beautiful long shadows onto the cool snow. I pulled over and took a few pictures of course.

Reference image

This is the picture that I used for my reference image for this little painting. I cropped the picture to the size I wanted, and edited the lighting a little bit before printing out. I like to print the reference photo rather than work from a screen so that I can have it right beside me. Also looking back and forth between screen and paper hurts my eyes.

Sketching things out

I sketched out basic shapes with pencil, straight onto the watercolor paper. Here's a note. When I'm doing a larger painting or something more complex I draw everything out on plain paper first then transfer to my watercolor paper. This scene was so small and I planned on being pretty fluid with the placement of things so I didn't worry about drawing it out first.

Here's a shot of the painting after everything has a layer of paint, it's all very subtle at this point.

After one layer of paint

I tried a new medium in this little painting. This white ink I used to add fine line details near the end of the painting.

White ink bottle

I really ended up liking the effect of this white ink. I've tried to used watered down acrylic or titanium white watercolor paint to add highlights before but neither of those gives the ease of painting that this fluid ink does. 

Link to ink

I used this small brush to paint the ink. 

Adding final details

This brush is in the Princeton Neptune series, which is a collection of synthetic squirrel hair and they are fantastic. I love these brushes, I often use the size 8 and 6 quills and this one, the size 2 round.

Link to brush

Here it is, almost complete, just gotta remove that tape to see the lovely crisp edge!



Here it is complete!

Finished painting

This was a fun little watercolor piece, I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into my process and will keep following along as I keep painting! 


You can purchase the original here



Kimberlee Everhard is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program as well as the Blick Art Materials affiliate program, both are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and dickblick.com.


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