A logical, sequential method of painting eliminates guesswork. A painting is done in layers—usually no more than five. Always start with the most distant layer, then the closer layer, and so on, until you reach the layer closest to the viewer.


BACKGROUND The background is always painted first, whether it is a still life or landscape. The background establishes the depth of the painting and provides an underpainting over which closer objects are painted. Paint the background in layers—the sky, the farthest hill, the next closer hill, the trees on each hill, and then the field.

MIDDLE GROUND When the background is complete, ...

Get Watercolor: Realistic Painting now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.