The atmosphere he created in his painting was amazing. Just looking at it reminded me of summer! I think it was the warm, intense colours he chose for the landscape that made this painting fit the summer vibe.
For the sketch stage, I took my lightest pencil and followed what Shiozawa drew on his page. I resisted the temptation to make it too exactly like his because if I did, the sketch would be overworked and that would lead to a stiff painting.
When Shiozawa wet the paper to prepare for the painting, I could not clearly see exactly which parts of the page he was wetting. I gave my best guess and sort of improvised. The first ultramarine wash was satisfying to see since it flowed into an organic sky appearance.
This is where I began to have a bit of trouble. Since I was following a demo and pausing the footage to have time to do each step correctly, my paper kept drying too soon.
Since Shiozawa’s washes weren’t entirely wet-on-wet, I didn’t let myself become too concerned about my results. I had some trial and error with my pigment to water ratios.
In the end, I think this step worked out alright considering I didn’t know where the painting was going at the beginning and didn’t wet all the right areas first.
The steps leading up to this picture involved such quick wet-on-wet blending that I didn’t photograph the entire process at that stage. There was a purple mixture meant to darken the edges of the clouds, but I had the pigment to water ratio a bit weak, and then when I strengthened it, my page was a little dry.
I ended up going over the area many times trying to reactivate and blend the pigments, but my pigments were quite staining so I didn’t have much success. The frayed edges of the yellow hill are where I rewet the page with a spray bottle and forgot to cover the ground with something to protect it first.
I followed all the guidelines for how to blend the greens on the hill, and I love how the shades of green turned out from the yellow ochre mixtures.
I was trying to emulate Shiozawa’s use of jagged washes to create texture, but I don’t think mine was so elegant in the end. Once again, I spent some time trying to repair my clouds.
Adding the deepest shadows on the hill was my favourite part of the painting. I loved seeing the dimension that happened when I added more blue to the base of the hill in the back.
I also enjoyed attempting the spatter technique from the live demo, although my brush didn’t want to spatter anything! I settled for a few little speckles because that was all I was going to get.
My finished painting, although far from the shining example set by Shiozawa, was satisfying to complete because of the dimension in the hills. One problem I had right from the start was that my sketchbook was too small.
I had a sketchbook the same size as Shiozawa’s, but it was hot-press, and I wanted to use cold-press because that’s what was in the demo.
I think it is usually more important to match paper texture than size if you are looking for a similar result to a demo, but in this case, it was so much smaller than the texture of the paper was behaving differently on my size of painting than it was in the demo painting.
My biggest takeaway from this live demo is that it’s probably a good idea to fast forward through a demo before you begin your painting and follow along for real because then you can see what each stage looks like and how the painting is supposed to look in the end.
Since I didn’t look to see how this painting would look in the end, I didn’t plan my initial washes toward it. I didn’t know whether the white areas or the blue areas in the sky were going to become the clouds, and that added to my mistakes on the clouds.
Overall, this live demo was lovely, cheerful, and well-explained. I recommend it wholeheartedly, especially if you have the right materials and you look at the end result before you begin.
If you would like to dive even deeper into the work of Jun-Pierre Shiozawa, I recommend trying his Mini Workshops at the following links: Urban Landscapes in Watercolour Mini Workshop and his Introduction to Watercolour Series