I wanted to do something extra special for my Dad’s birthday. He has a charming little Antique Store in Whitefish, Montana, named Pine Cone Hill Trading Company. His little shop is picturesque enough for a painting, so that’s what I did 🙂
First, I took a few photos of the shop. I needed the chosen photo to show up well on a lightbox with watercolor paper. So I used the photo editing program that came with my computer (any photo-editing will work, even the one on your cell phone) and played with the editing until the photo appeared washed out with hard lines that would show up through the thicker paper.
After printing my image, I washi-taped it to my lightbox and then washi-taped Fabriano’s Watercolor Paper over that. I lightly traced the main features with a Tombow Drawing Pencil.
I used Prima Watercolor “The Classics” Palette and Koi Watercolor Palette and my assorted brushes and began to fill in features. I started with a wash of watercolor, filling in shading and details later. A wash can be done with a watery, lightly-paint-filled brush or by painting a section with just water and then just dropping in the color with a paint brush. I let each layer of wash dry before painting an adjoining section so there would be no color bleed. You can also heat-dry with a heat gun, but in this case, I wanted the true wash to show.
For shading, I used darker or denser color, sometimes mixed with a little black or gray. My favorite tool for shading, though, is Tombow’s Dual-Tip Brush Pen #N75 which is a light gray. For highlighting, I used Tombow’s Blending Pen to lighten. I also used Speedball’s Super Pigmented Acrylic White Ink for detail highlighting using a tiny brush. I also enhanced and blended some features using various colors from Tombow’s Dual-Tip Brush Pen Set. This works really well!
Now I can could tell you in detail how I framed and matted this painting, but I could never do as well as Lindsey over at The Postman’s Knock who does an excellent job of demonstrating this HERE. (I would also urge you to follow her, because she creates such amazing content!) I get ALL of my frames from local thrift stores for just a few quarters a piece. I always have a supply of acrylic paint on hand to paint the frames the color of my choice.
Here is the final product 🙂 Happy Birthday, Dad!
(All items were personally purchased. Where available, I use compensated affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!)