Light Bulb Watercolour Painting - with Imke Hahn

The artist Imke Hahn has created an inventive watercolour painting using HORADAM® watercolours and some Schmincke AQUA mediums. In this instruction, she shows us step by step how much life and structure can exist in and around a painted light bulb. Along the way you will also learn about some very important watercolour mediums.

You will need:

  • Colours: Schmincke HORADAM® watercolours in Prussian Green (528), Indigo (485), Schmincke Payne´s Grey (783), Cadmium red medium (347), Titanium opaque white (101) and Yellow ochre (655)
  • Mediums: Masking fluid coloured (50 731), AQUA modelling paste fine (50 706; with a spatula) and AQUA Collage (50 715)
  • Paper: Hahnemühle watercolour Paper 30 x 40 cm
  • Brushes: e.g. da Vinci Serie 11 - MAESTRO Tobolsky-Kolinsky
  • Pens: pencil and acrylic pen in black and white
  • Newspaper and thin cardboard

Step 1

For this motif I used special watercolour paper from Hahnemühle in the size 30 x 40 cm. I started by drawing a light sketch with the pencil. Thereby I set the horizon line for the sky in the lower third of the light bulb.

Step 2

Now I apply the blue coloured masking fluid with the pen to the outer lines of the bulb and the lighthouse. Furthermore, I use it to set small highlights in the wave, which later turns out to have a nice effect.

Step 3

I carefully apply the fine structuring paste with a spatula into the foam crown of the wave and to the "head" of the bulb. Please make sure that the paste is not spread over the masking fluid.

Step 4

Let´s start using some colour! I begin by paintingthe sky of the light bulb very thinly with Prussian green. Towards the edges of the bulb I apply a little more colour to have a clear structure. In the middle, I let the rest of the colour run out to have a mix of both tones. If the colour of the sky is stillslightly wet, I apply some white dots. For the sea in the foreground I use Indigo. For the lighthouse I use Cadmium red and Schmincke Payne´s grey. The grey tone was also used for the connecter of the light bulb.

Step 5

Now I´m going to focus on the background: I use the colours Prussian Green and Indigo. I create a kind of colour gradient by applying more colour to the edges of the light bulb. Thus, I achieve a darker shade. Next, I accentuate the sky by putting some more blue dots into it.

Step 6

In the next step I spread AQUA Collage into the desired lower image area as well as some torn newspaper snippets and brown cardboard onto it. A part of the horizon as well as the paper snippets, I paint over again with AQUA Collage. Then I slightly press the snippets and paint over them a second time. Again, it is very important that you do not paint the AQUA Collage over the masking fluid!

Step 7

The final steps: Now I slightly paint over the dried snippets with an Indigo mixture. In the background I set some accents in the colours Yellow ochre and White.

Step 8

Time for details! The masking fluid can now carefully be removed by rubbing it with the index finger. If you want, you can set some more speckles in white and blue: For that, simply pick up some water and paint with the brush - give your creativity free run! With the acrylic pencils I paint even more details, for example grasses in black in the foreground or loose lines in white around the bulb.