How to Paint a Horse and Plough Landscape in Watercolor

Skill Level : 2 Intermediate

Medium : Watercolour Painting

Subject : Animals

Tutor : Dennis Clark

Class Length : 1 hour 31 minutes

Avg Rating : No Ratings Yet

Class Description

In this online art class we will paint a landscape of a farmer ploughing his ffield using an old fashioned horse and plough. In most of the world today nearly everything is highly mechanized, including the ploughing of the fields. As a youngster I once tried my hand with one of these. It is not as easy as it looks. This class will be a lot easier, I promise.

In this lesson you will learn:

1  How to paint an overcast sky
2  How to paint the distant hills and the trees
3  How to simplify the trees
4  How to simplify the ploughed land
5  How to paint the farmer and his horse

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Short Class Video

Class Tutorial

Few people today will see a farmer ploughing his field using a hand plough and a horse, but today we are going to paint one in watercolour.

Masking Fluid

It is always best to preserve all white and light areas with masking fluid.  Use a small round brush for this and periodically clean the brush with water to stop it from gelling in the hairs.

Paint the Sky

Lightly paint in the sky with a mix of blue and a touch of red to tone down the bright blue and then let it dry.

Paint the Mountains

Use a darker mix to paint in the mountains making it a bit lighter towards the horizon.

Paint the Distant Fields

Paint the far field with some Yellow Ochre.  The closer field is  painted in green, and if too dark, lift out using a tissue.  With some light Burnt Sienna add the field in between these other two.

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Paint the Distant Trees

Add some Yellow to the mountain mix to make a dark grey-green for the trees. See how this lifts out the distant houses.

Add the darker shadows right on the horizon line. Make the mix a bit darker still and add the closer trees, as well as the small row of blushes or hedge at the edge of the ploughed field.

Paint the Ploughed Field

Cover the whole field with some light Burnt Sienna, while letting it get darker towards the foreground. This adds distance perspective to the scene.  This also warms up the foreground and cooler as it recedes into the distance.

See how the masking fluid has preserved the farmer and the horse.

Paint the Trees

Paint the underpainting of the trees with Yellow Ochre and a touch of Blue.  With a darker mix begin adding in the darker leaf clumps and the shadow areas.

While the paper is still damp, but not too wet,drop in some very dark mix into the deep shadows.  Then paint in the shadows on the ground.

Paint the Furrow Marks

Paint in the furrow lines, making them broader and darker towards the foreground.  Be careful to get the linear perspective correct.

Add Texture to the Field

With the very light mountain colour on the brush, and using it almost side-on (flat), lightly pull the brush over the paper surface.  This ensures  nice random markings on the soil, getting lighter in the distance.

For even more texture, use a sponge to create the very loose soil effect, especially on the heaped soil lines.

Paint the Plants in the Field

Add green plants to separate the one field from the other.

Remove the masking fluid with some masking tape and then add some more green patches on the dark ploughed lines for the upturned vegetation.

Paint the Farmer and Horse

With some Orange add the horse collar and the farmer's face, hat and arms.

Mix a dark Gray and paint the pants and braces.  Lift out any highlights using a clean damp brush.

Paint all the dark lines on the horse and plough using a rigger brush.

With a light blue-gray, paint in the shirt shadow and only a few on the light coloured horse.  Add just enough to show the rounding of its body.  Less is always more – as they say.

Make sure that the farmer's feet, the plough and the horse are all in the same furrow!

With that our landscape painting of the farmer ploughing his field with a horse drawn plough is complete.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. If you did, you can join our mailing list below for notifications of new tutorials.

About Dennis Clark

Dennis has been drawing and painting for most of his life (since 1944) and shortly after that in watercolours. During WWII there were no art books so to speak, so he had to teach himself through experimentation, sweat and tears. He teaches the following mediums online - Watercolours, Pastels, Acrylics, Pencil, Pastels, Pen and Ink and Oils.
Read more about Dennis Clark

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