Watercolor Horse Painting Using Moonglow Paint by Daniel Smith

Watercolor Horse Painting Using Moonglow Paint by Daniel Smith

Hi guys! I’m Emily! Welcome to my channel.
Today’s video will be just a little bit different – it’s kind of a product review
of sorts. I’m going to be showing you how I use just a single color, this is Daniel
Smith Moonglow, to create a misty foggy effect in a painting. I love all Daniel
Smith watercolor paints but this single color is just amazing. Be sure to watch
all the way to the end to see the entire demonstration and I hope you enjoy! If
you want to follow along and try this painting using my reference photo you
can download it using the link in the description. I’m using a block of Arches
140-pound rough pressed cotton watercolor paper size 9 by 12 inches. I
have an assortment of brushes, mostly larger ones because one of my main goals
with this painting is to create a dusty foggy effect to intentionally lose some
of the details and larger brushes will help limit how much detail I can include.
As I mentioned this video is also a demonstration of the beautiful
subtleties you can achieve in a painting using just a single paint color, in this
case Moonglow. In my opinion, Daniel Smith makes some of the finest watercolor
pigments on the market. They have an incredible variety of colors and many of
these beautiful paints are specialized. You can experiment with luminescent,
pearlescent, metallic, iridescent and duochrome colors. Moonglow is actually a
three pigment blend. It’s a combination of anthraquinone red, ultramarine blue,
and viridian gray. The resulting neutral violet color is wonderful for shadow
areas, skies or evening snow. It has excellent light fastness so it will not
fade over time, it’s beautifully transparent, and low staining. I really
enjoy doing single color studies from time to time but they’re especially fun
when you’re using such a complex and mysterious pigment. Using a large round Richardson squirrel
hair brush I wet my paper all over but carefully avoiding areas where the sun
is hitting the silhouettes of the horse’s head and backs. I drop in some large brushstrokes and
gently blot some watered-down color into the top portion of the painting. You can
already see some lovely separation of a blue and red in the paint. Keeping my values very light I quickly
paint around the horse’s head allowing the wet paint to blend together on the
wet paper. I grab some darker paint to reinforce the shapes and values of the
trees in the background. I lightly paint around the second horse.
I’m careful to avoid the white areas of my horses but I’ll wet the paper inside
where their shadows will go. I add some color to the foreground using
side-to-side brush strokes while the paint is still a little wet. I can add
suggestions of tree branches knowing that their edges will soften. I don’t
want any hard edges in the background since the focal point of the painting is
the galloping horse in front. To make the legs look like they’re kicking up dust
and dirt I paint the shadow side a little darker with a defined edge but
keep the front of the leg vague and undefined working wet in wet. There
really aren’t any rules for which areas you should paint first or in what order.
I just kind of go where my eye takes me but I always have to take into
consideration the timing aspect of watercolor always being aware of which
areas are still wet and which parts of the painting are beginning to dry. This
aspect of watercolor painting just takes patience and practice to figure it out
before it becomes intuitive. The shadow areas of the second horse are relatively
light. I want the legs to fade into white to give the illusion of our horse being
immersed in sunlit dust. I make the head and neck darker – this
helps the viewer understand that the head is coming towards us and is rising
above the dust. When recreating a foggy, dusty, or misty effect in a painting it’s
important to notice that elements in the scene that are further away will be
lighter in value and objects that are closer will appear darker in value. By
mastering this simple observational skill you can make your paintings look
very realistic. Fine line details are not always necessary. I darken head some more
switching to a smaller brush. Don’t be afraid to really push your values darker
in the areas of greatest visual interest. Again I’m only painting with Moonglow
but by using a wide variety of values, shapes, and textures and with the
complexity of this color’s three pigment composition, I think it’s giving off the
illusion of more colors! I spent the most time painting the horse
in the foreground since he is the focal point. Using my reference photo as a
guide I went really dark in the shadows blending in more watered down paint to
create mid-tone areas that have some light hitting them. To connect the belly
andthe hind leg I can charge wet paint into wet paint. This helps you lose the
edge. You never want there to be any hard edges in a shadow. An artist friend of
mine , Dan Sprick likes to say, “Lose edges wherever you can.” With just a few light brushstrokes I
create the effect of dirt spraying up beneath the horse’s hooves. You’ll notice
there is no defined edge where the hooves meet the ground. I’m leaving the backlit mane mostly
untouched, just adding a few fine hairs for the tail. It’s also just a few little
brush strokes. I add some spatter effect and once the horse’s head is mostly dry
I can go back in and add some darker touches of paint to the nose and eye. A little more color in the foreground
also helps balance the composition. I try to match the values to those of the
background trees. I used a dry paper towel to lift and
blot out some of the wet paint spatter and I was really delighted to see a
beautiful delicate blue-green revealed. This entire process was such a delight! I
would love to see you give Moonglow a try! Tag me on instagram so I can see
what you’re creating! If you enjoyed this video and found it valuable be sure to
hit the like button and hit the subscribe button if you’re new here and
turn on notifications so you never miss a single video. I’ll be posting new
videos every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and be sure to share with all
your friends who might be interested in watercolor, and if you want to stay in
the loop follow me on Instagram. Thanks! Have a great day!

7 thoughts on “Watercolor Horse Painting Using Moonglow Paint by Daniel Smith”

  • Love the negative painting and use of the unique Moonglow for this elegant painting! I've been using Moonglow for many years and am constantly finding new uses for it. I think using high quality paper is important for this pigment, although I've had decent results with Canson Montval, Arches CP really allows the full value and idiosyncrasies of this paint to shine. Thanks for sharing your process!

  • Its a gorgeous colour and more importantly a beautiful painting. I just cant come at nearly $40 for a tube of paint. Ill stick to my cheapskate reject paints ie damaged stock

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