Linda DuPuis-Rosen
Wildlife in Watercolor

Art Lessons

Supply list

1 Paper:
I prefer 300 lb paper but 140 lb, cold press paper is fine. Choose the size and brand you like. It is easy to use the watercolor blocks and the 12 x 16 is a nice size.
2 Brushes:
Try to have a few round, large brushes (20 and 18 size) plus a few smaller (10 or 8) rounds and a good rigger.
3 Miscellaneous:
Two bowls for water (I keep one for clean water), a board to attach your paper to (if you do not have a block), something to prop your board on (I use a small 6 in. 2x4), a towel, paper towels, toilet paper, salt, drawing pencils, kneaded eraser.

Watercolor pigments:
Palette is Primary and Value based
       1 primary triad of opaques- Opera, Manganese, Naples
Make all secondaries- more options w/primaries
       Two secondaries in the palette- Cad. orange, Thalo green

Holbien makes great colors and Daniel Smith makes good quinacridone colors


Opera- cool, mid value, opaque
Quinacridone rose- cool, mid value, transparent, staining
Perm. Alizarin Crimson- cool, dark value, makes a great black, transparent, staining

Cadmium red light- warm, mid value, use only as mixer


Cobalt- cool, mid value, semi transparent/semi sedimentary
Ultramarine- cool, mid value, not a black mixture

Peacock- warm, mid value, transparent, staining
Manganese or Cerulean- warm, mid value, opaque
Prussian- warm, dark value, makes a great black

Yellows/Oranges/Earth tones:

Naples- opaque
Cadmium yellow lemon- sedimentary
Yellow ochre- sedimentary, earth tone
Cadmium orange- sedimentary, secondary
Quinacridone gold- all quins are transparent, staining, dye base, intense
Quinacridone burnt orange- Black plus, wonderful mixer
Burnt sienna- earth tone, sedimentary


Make your own
Winsor and Thalo greens make good blacks, secondary

Subject: wildlife or pets

- Find a simple picture, (your own).
- Turn it upside down, now draw what you see.
- You can let the right side of your brain do the work. It is more about what you see than what you know. As you draw, keep your pencil marks light and try to move quickly. Now, you need to start checking proportions, is the right eye under the end of the nose, where is the right ear in relationship with the right eye and side of mouth, etc… Look, draw, check to another area, fix, draw, check and so on. Once I feel it is starting to look right I will darken my lines.
- Once you feel it is starting to look like your picture then turn it right side up.

- I will darken my lines just in the important areas. No need to put too much detail in because you will just paint over it.

- When painting in watercolor, you want to paint from light to dark. If you have whites in your picture then do not paint over them.
Save Your Whites! .

- Next I did a light wash of a mixture of yellow ochre, ultramarine, and quin. burnt orange and added a small amount of salt just to the face area and then I left it alone and let it dry.

- Use some masking fluid to mask off the whiskers. You should not use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process as it may make it difficult to remove the masking fluid later. Next, I wet the eyes except for the highlights and then dropped in quin. gold and a little quin. burnt orange just around the outer edges and let the water do the work. Try not to play with it, walk away and then come back in 30 minutes and see what has happened. About 2 hours later I repeated the process to intensify the colors, let it dry then I put a tiny bit of ultramarine in a part of the highlight so that it was not pure white.

- I wet the paper in the areas I wanted to paint and put in french ultramarine mixed with burnt sienna for the sand foreground. I waited for the shine to disappear then added some salt, then let it dry.

- Now that I have an underpainting, I can start to build on the colors I have established. Next, I wet the area and I did another light wash of a mixture of yellow ochre, ultramarine, and quin. burnt orange over the cat and added a small amount of salt just to the face area and then I left it alone and let it dry. I did add my darks to the chest area at this time with a rigger brush while it was still damp to get the effect of the longer fur.
- With practice, you can learn to soften your edges by going along the edges with a DAMP rigger brush where you have just painted. Use a scrap piece of watercolor paper and practice this so that you can get a feel for how damp to have your brush in order to have a soft edge where you want it for the next part.

- The last part is adding the dark areas to the face and ears, using a mixture of prussian blue, perm. alizarin crimson and quin. burnt orange. If you want a warmer black, use a little more crimson and if you want a cooler black, use a little more prussian in your mixture. I may add 4 or 5 hits of paint to get the intensity I want and each time I use less water with my paint. When you feel that it is done, the paper is completely dry, remove the masking fluid. You may wish to soften the white of the whiskers if they stand out too much then you are done! If you are a beginner in painting, you often will find parts of the painting you like and some parts that you don’t like. I feel that each painting in watercolor is a lesson no matter how experienced you are is due to the nature of the medium. I love the unpredictability of it!

Click on an image below to go to more Art Lessons



Serval Jumping

Dog Art Demo

Work in progress