« Gourmet Veggie Tales - Chino's Farm | Main | Pittsburgh Watercolor Society Aqueous Open 2008 Exhibition »

How I Paint (2) - Procida IV

My previous post on 9/17/08 "How I Paint (1) - Las Hermanas" was received well and some of you asked me to post more.  Here’s my second on-line demo of sorts.


For this one, I use several photographs such as the ones above I took on Procida, a small island in Southern Italy.  The photos show characteristics of the harbor pretty well, but from a design point of view, not everything is in the right place, so I know I will need to move things around a bit.  How to bring out my emotions about this island and the movie filmed here will be a challenge (Read my 9/29/2008 post on Pablo Neruda for more on this).  I think working from a limited palette of dominantly cool colors might be one solution.  Words like "quiet," "secluded," "timeless" and even "melancholic" swirl in my head as I think about the atmosphere I want to project in this piece.

First I do a quick drawing, adding no tiny details but I make sure I mark clearly all the important shapes. Then I proceed to paint, mostly wet-in-wet, to cover the whole surface of the paper, establishing different scales of values.

Moving from back to the front, I define the shapes of the buildings and fishing boats.  I don't like this painting to look too tight, so I try to have a good balance of hard and soft edges.

I want to warm up a little where the late afternoon sun hits, so I lay second and third washes on the buildings, boats and piers, using a brown/orange mixture while strengthening the tonal values especially in the foreground.  As finishing touches, I put in little details such as masts, ropes and seagulls.

I am happy that my initial vision is in this final painting.  I’d love to hear your critique!

Click here to see other paintings in my Italian Landscapes Collection.

Procida, Italy IV

Media: Original watercolor on paper

Image Size: 14.25 x 21.5 inches

Mat/Frame: No

Purchase: Sold

Topics: Boats | How I Paint | Italian Landscapes | Sold Works | Waterscapes 


Related Posts:


5 Responses to How I Paint (2) - Procida IV

Sharon Weaver
via web78 months ago

I am traveling to Italy in the beginning of November for two weeks and love the beautiful light that you have captured in this painting. I paint with oils not watercolor and hope I will be able to come away any work that I like. You have a great sense of composition. Beautiful work.

Linda Hart
via web77 months ago

Love seeing how you paint - fascinating!!

Please keep doing this - showing the steps towards the final painting. I

So interesting!!


June Macy
via web76 months ago


I had just printed out various pictures on the Italian Landscape and in France etc. And then I came across this 'how to' type thing. Great. This really sparks my creativity. Thanks.

Janis McElmurry
via web73 months ago

This is a wonderful painting. Love how you captured the light and the mood. This is what I am trying to learn how to do in my paintings and it is a struggle for me. Thanks for your inspiration! Jan

Keiko Tanabe
via web73 months ago

Thank you, June, Janis. I'm glad that this post was helpful for you!

* indicates a required field

Remember Your Info

Check this box if you want email updates when people comment on this post