How to Paint Windows in Watercolour

Skill Level : 1 Beginner

Medium : Watercolour Painting

Subject : Still Life

Tutor : Dennis Clark

Class Length : 1 hour 56 minutes

Avg Rating : No Ratings Yet

Gold Level or Higher Class

Class Description

Just look at all the various types of windows there are to see when you are traveling around the towns and villages. Many look the same, but then are also  lots and lots of different types. Each one of them have their own distinctive characteristics and moods. The more quaint they are the more paintable they become. Some have shutters while others have window boxes full of brilliant flowers.

In this lesson you will learn:

1.  How to paint the roof tiles
2.  How to paint the window and shutter boards
3.  How to add the fence
4.  How to paint the impression of vegetation
5.  How to add the figure behind the window

Latest Reviews

i did that class on their PaintBasket site and i love it. great techniques espetialy the roof. very interresting.

thank you Dennis 5*


Class Tutorial

Transferring the template

Use your preferred method to transfer the template to the watercolour paper.  Be sure that the vertical lines are parallel to the edge of the paper.

Painting the window panes

Begin by mixing a basic black with alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, and a touch of yellow using very little water.  Adjust as needed to get the right shade of black.  Paint in the dark window panes. A filbert brush works well for this because it can fill in the wide spaces quickly; then, turned on its side, it can help to define the corners and straight lines.

Painting the shutters

Use pure viridian to paint the shutters.  Leave the top right corner unpainted, except for a few splotches, as there will be a potted plant painted there later.  Dry the shutters.  (You will come back later to add a weathered look.)

Painting the window frame

Mix some very light orange.  Use it to paint over the entire window frame to give it a warm tone.  Let it dry.

Painting the wall

Mix a watery blue and paint the side walls.  Then very carefully paint the wall between the fence posts, leaving space for the flowering plant.  Soak up any excess water.   Dry it.

Painting the bottom of the roof

Use burnt sienna to mix a light brown colour.  Use it for an underpainting at the bottom of the roof.  Leave the bottom right corner partially unpainted.

Painting the posts

Use the same brown tint from the roof to paint the fence posts.  Skip over the edges of vegetation.   Paint the bottom cross strip and the main fence post on the left a bit darker.

Make an even darker brown and add the shadows along the fence.

Adding shadows to the window

Using the same dark shadow colour, paint the shadow on the left side of the window frame.

Paint a lighter brown across the top of the window and down the right side.  Dry it.

Paint the dark shadow across the window frame and add a few other dark shadows around the frame.

Detailing the shutters

Use a clean, slightly damp brush to lift a bit of the colour from the cross pieces on the shutters.  Blot it.

Use the dark-brownish colour to make shadows under the cross pieces and other places on the shutters.  Add a few light cracks caused by weathering.

Detailing the windows

Add the shadows at appropriate places on the window frame.  Blot any that may look too dark.

Paint a lighter shadow along the left side of the frame and across the top.

Dab some shadows under the screws.  Touch up any other spots that might need darker shadows.

Adding the vegetation

Dab some cadmium yellow onto the spot (top right) where the potted plant will go.

Then do the same at the bottom right.   Dab on the red flowers.  Paint on more yellow around the red flowers.

Mix a green from cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue.  Dab that to create contrasts around the yellow, creating branches with leaves.  Then add some yellow ochre for a darker tone and paint on the deeper shadows.

Return to the plant at the top right and add some lighter green leaves, then darker ones for shadows.

Mix a very dark green and drop some onto the vegetation at the bottom left corner.  Try to heighten the effect of branches.

Add a bit of yellow ochre into the green mix and paint the ground in front of the fence.  Texture it a bit.  Leave it to dry.

Painting the roof tiles

Create a brownish-red colour for the tile roof.  Wet the roof and let it soak in a bit.  Take a greenish-brown colour and run some streaks randomly over the roof.

Add some streaks of cadmium yellow.  Do the same with some watery blue.  Now drop in larger streaks of the reddish-brown tile colour.  With a thirsty brush, lift out any spots that seem too dark.  Drop on a few touches of viridian green to create a mossy effect.  Dry it.

Mix a darker brown to add varying shadows to the tiles.  Dry the roof.

Adding the shadow under the roof

Start by adding a long dark board across the center of the space under the roof.  Paint a darker shadow above it, following the curved contour of the tiles.  Use a lighter tone to paint the board below.  Dry it.

Make a darker colour to add a deep shadow to edge the bottom row of tiles.

Adding contrast vegetation

Add some darker green where needed to create shadows in the potted plant and the plants in the bottom left corner.


Drop in shadows where needed along the fence.

Mix a bluish, shadowy colour and paint it around the shutter on the right and other spots where needed.  Add the cast shadow from the hanging plant, roof tiles, and board.

Painting the hinges

Use a sharp-pointed brush and paint in black hinges on the shutters.  Add the handle on the right shutter.

Adding detail to the hanging plant

Drop on some orange to brighten up the hanging plant where it is hit by the sun.

Detailing the windows

Lift out the shape of curtains on the windows.

Final painting

About Dennis Clark

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