My latest watercolour painting project is from Geoff Kersey‘s watercolour DVD “The Road From Stanton Lees” published by Teaching Art. The painting is featured on page 5 of his book Ready to Paint: Watercolour Trees and Woodlands, published by Search Press. The DVD and book is aimed at those who already have some experience painting watercolours, although much of the content will also be of interest and value to beginners and more experienced artists alike. The DVD is great, and its accompanying book is packed from cover to cover with Geoff ‘s watercolor tips to get the best from your watercolours, as well as many of his drawings, sketches, and excellent examples of his watercolour landscapes.

I love Geoff’s style, and if I carry on learning from his watercolour books and DVD’s I should be able to naturally paint in his style. Almost every one of Geoff Kersey‘s Paintings appears to positively glow with an inner Turneresque light and this particular exercise, The Road From Stanton Lees does just that. Following the DVD step-by-step is almost like having a one-to-one session of watercolour painting with Geoff Kersey in the room with you. I also admire Geoff’s ability at being able to suggest a huge mass of detail in foliage by using a limited palette and only a few carefully placed brushstrokes – I just couldn’t wait to get started on this one and learn a new list of watercolor techniques!

Watercolor Tuition

I chose this particular exercise because it was depicted a dominant, ivy-clad tree winter with the surrounding foliage that glowed with the warmth of a low, bright January sun. I also wanted to understand how Geoff managed to suggest so much detail through his careful placement of warm colours, and created the shapes of the road, bank and bushes with rough purple shadows.

This project used a palette of 9 colours:

  • Cobalt Blue
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Rose Madder
  • Aureolin
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Naples Yellow
  • Viridian

Ready to Paint: Watercolour Trees and Woodlands by Geoff Kersey

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The Road From Stanton Lees DVD by Geoff Kersey

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Three stages:

The demonstration was broken down into three separate stages which began with masking certain areas of the painting for the finer details to be pained in later. After the masking was dry I applied washes for the sky and clouds. After this had dried, darker washes were then applied working from the background to the middle distance. The middle distance trees where then added, finishing this stage with the large ivy-clad tree in the foreground. Finally the foreground was built up with layers of various washes to create the light, shadows,  which was used to define the road surface and the banks either side of the road.

What I learned:

The Road From Stanton Lees - Stage 1

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All-in-all The Road From Stanton Lees was a truly awesome and educational exercise to work through. Laying down the sky wash was quick and simple to do, as was laying down the darker middle scene washes which didn’t prove too difficult either.

I took my time to build up the trees in the middle distance, using dry brush strokes to suggest the twigs at the extremities of the branches. I must admit that I had great fun painting the tall ivy clad tree in the foreground, layering the various tones of green dry-brush, and then picking out the detail with opaque, dry-brushed lemon yellow.

Defining shapes by the clever use of shadows

The Road From Stanton Lees - Stage 2

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Geoff’s instructions for adding the near distance foliage with the light streaming in from the left of the painting, and casting the long purple shadows across the road and bank in the foreground were easy to follow, and I was surprised at how simple it was to paint in this particular way, and just how effective this effect can be.

I’ve included here the various stages of my version of Geoff Kersey‘s The Road From Stanton Lees so you can see how my version of this painting developed.

The Road From Stanton Lees by Ian McKendrick

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After working through this exercise I’ve decided that I’m going to be painting every watercolour exercise in this book so that I can truly understand all of Geoff’s techniques, until hopefully they become second nature to me.

The final result

I was very pleased with the final result, the ultimate accolade being that when I showed my finished version of this painting to the manager of my local art store as an example of my work when applying for the position as an in-store watercolour demonstrator, she actually thought it was an original Geoff Kersey painting!

Links to Geoffs book and Autumn Woodland DVD

[table id=1 filter=”Watercolour Trees And Woodlands” hide_columns=”4,5″ show_rows=”1,2,3,6″ responsive=”all” /] My watercolour book library here>

[table id=2 filter=”Stanton Lees DVD” hide_columns=”4,5″ show_rows=”1,2,3,6″ responsive=”all” /] My watercolour DVD library here>


Next steps

If you’ve painted this Geoff Kersey watercolour demonstration yourself, or would like to offer your feedback then please share it with us using the comments below.