Watercolour: Cottage By The Sea 水彩画:海边的小屋

This little fisherman•s cottage is found in the Cleggan area in Co Galway in the West of Ireland. The little inlet gives sheltered anchorage for the little fishing boats. I painted this picture sitting in the laneway leading up to the cottage one lovely afternoon. There are plenty of different elements in this picture to keep us busy so let•s get started and Have Some More Fun!


Watercolour Cottage By The Sea

Remember... You can already paint!





•A sheet of 7×10,140 lb

•Cotman Watercolour paper

•Masking Fluid

•Water container



•ruler and eraser

•Palette or White Plate
A stiff board.

Paints & Brushes

•Cobalt Blue

•Raw Sienna

•Lemon Yellow

•Burnt Umber

•Light Red

•Alizerine Crimson1/4″ Nylon Brush

•¾ inch Simply Painting Goathair brush

•the no 6 round nylon brush

•the no 3 Simply Painting rigger

•an old brush for the masking fluid

"You can use any materials but I would recommend using the Simply Painting materials."

Frank Clarke


Finished Image preview


Step 01

First of all we take our piece of paper and we affix it on all four sides to our board and ensure that the board is tilted towards you.


Step 02

Then with a ruler and pencil go up about 1/3 of the way up the page from the bottom and draw your horizon line.


Step 03

Now keep the pencil in your hand and on the right-hand side of your paper, above the horizon line draw in the outline of your little cottage. Draw the letter V upside down.


Step 04

Now a second “v” upside down to the left of the first one, leave a gap between them.


Step 05

Next join the top of the upside down “V”.


Step 06

Now join the bottom.


Step 07

Put a wall on the house.


Step 08

Draw a box or chimney in the center of the roof.


Step 09

Finish the chimney.


Step 10

Draw the door, two downward lines.


Step 11

Window, one drawn half way down the wall, start from the roof.


Step 12

Now a second window。


Step 13

Rub out the line on the roof.


Step 14

That’s it for the cottage.


Step 15

Now just lightly draw in the ground underneath the cottage right across, keeping above the horizon line,- refer to finishe dpicture- Lastly down the bottom of the page put in some rocks and two stakes.


Step 16

Now lightly draw in the inlet, which comes down like that on the right-hand side, and  draw in the outline of our currach, our little rowing boat. The boat looks a bit like a banana. That completes our sketching.



Step 17

We want to protect certain parts of the paper while being able to paint over it without staining the paper itself. So what we do is we use a substance called masking fluid. What you do is you take your brush and you paint the area that you want protected with masking fluid which is a latex rubber compound. Then you let it dry and what happens is it creates a film to protect the area covered. This allows us to carry on painting, ignoring and painting over the protected area. When we are finished we can rub off the masking fluid, leaving a white outline of the protected area. Now there are a couple of things you have to be careful of with masking fluid.

The first is because it is a latex rubber compound it can damage your brush but there is a way to protect it and this is what you do. Take your brush, preferably an old one (nylon is the best), and stick it into the water and dry it a little bit and then into the compound. Then start to cover the area you want to protect, at the same time counting up to 20. When you get to 20, stop, take your brush, clean it in the water and back into the fluid again and recommence. This will stop or prevent the masking fluid from congealing on your brush and actually turning your brush into a lump of solidified rubber, which is very hard to clean. So remember the golden rule, count to 20, clean the brush, count to 20, clean the brush, count to 20, clean the brush and do this all the way through the time you are using the masking fluid and your brush will be fine.



Step 18

You will notice that I have covered the cottage and the two stakes with masking fluid because those are the areas that I want to protect for the moment.


Step 19

Now, wash your brush well and replace the top on the masking fluid. Then leave your picture to dry for about 5 minutes at least or use the hairdryer if you have one.


Step 20

Starting with the sky as usual, put our some of the raw sienna paint and using the 3/4″ goathair brush paint a weak mixture, it’s called a wash, down as far as the piece of land just above the horizon line.


Step 21

Make sure to paint over the cottage, don’t try to go around it, the whole idea of using the masking fluid is to prevent you having to paint around it.确保颜料盖过房子,不要试着绕过它,使用留白液的目的就是避免你绕着它画。

Step 22

Then, while the paper is still wet, clean your brush and go into the cobalt blue and paint some blue colour, starting once again from the top of the paper, down the page leaving out some blank spots.


Step 23

Now the third stage, take some light red and cobalt blue and mix it together, about 50% of each, and once again start from the top of the paper with this mixture, paint in some clouds. It gives you a purply colour.


Step 24

When you have completed this let the paper dry or once again use your hairdryer, but do make sure that the paper and the pigment is dry before you proceed any further with your project.


Step 25

Now we come to our mountains. They are quite low this time so don’t make them too high. Using a mixture of cobalt blue and a tiny bit of the light red, about 90% 10%, quite a weak mixture, don’t make it too strong.

现在我们画山,他们很低所以不要画得太高。用钴蓝和一丁点的土红混合,比例大约是9:1. 很浅的颜色,不要太深。

Step 26

Paint in the mountains behind the cottage.


Step 27

Let the picture dry.


Step 28

Let’s start into the middle ground. We need to add out some more colours to do this. So put out your remaining colours of lemon yellow and burnt umber. Clean your brush, the 3/4″ goathair, and just put in a very light colour of raw sienna. Then add in a tiny bit of blue to the lemon yellow and just feed in some of that underneath the cottage, making sure that you don’t go below the horizon line.


Step 29

Now mix up some lemon yellow to your cobalt blue, making a good dark colour, and using the corner of the brush, put in the bushes behind and beside the cottage. Make sure brush is not too wet.


Step 30

Clean your brush and with a mixture of raw sienna with very little lemon yellow in it go across underneath the bushes above the horizon line and just darken the ground.


Step 31

While this is still wet take some of your burnt umber and finish off the middle ground by adding in some really dark shading along the shoreline and underneath the bushes.


Step 32

Now continuing to work down the paper, clean your brush well, take some of the raw sienna, a very weak mixture, we are going to paint in our beach, which is in front and underneath the horizon line. This is done by running the brush with this mixture between the top of your boat and the bottom of your horizon line. Let’s make a strip across and our beach is completed. Do make sure that it is a very weak mixture.


Step 33

Next it is time to put the water in. So once more clean the brush and take some of the cobalt blue with a tiny bit of the lemon yellow, this gives it a kind of a greeny mixture. Now when I say a tiny bit I mean 90% blue and 10% yellow.


Step 34

Place the brush onto the paper and go straight across over the boat and repeat this right down to the rocks and around them. It may take several strokes with the brush to create this effect but that’s fine, take your time. Be happy with it. Now, stop and once again let your paper dry or dry it with your hairdryer.


Step 35

Its time to make up a nice green mixture of paint, that’s done using some raw sienna, lemon yellow and a little bit of cobalt blue.


Step 36

Then with downward strokes let’s put in the little jetties of land on the left and right-hand side of the picture.


Step 37

First, using the mixture of raw sienna, lemon yellow and blue, paint in the main block, and then add in some of the light red to create a darker colour.


Step 38

Now let’s create some ripples in the water. So with the No. 3 rigger brush, make up a weak mixture of cobalt blue with a tiny bit of raw sienna in it.


Step 39

Paint across the water, making sure that the lines you create are parallel with your horizon line.


Step 40

Now take your rigger brush and get some burnt umber and create some lines on the beach to represent dark pieces of mud and rock, etc.


Step 41

Then do the same with the piece of land on the left-hand side of the picture where it meets the sea to create a dark area.


Step 42

Do the same on the other side.


Step 43

The rocks are next and for that we need to make up a rock colour. This is a mixture of cobalt blue and burnt umber and then using the 3/4″ goathair brush using downward, sideway strokes paint in the rocks.

接下来画石头,所以我们要调一个石头的颜色。那是用钴蓝和熟褐调色,然后用3/4寸的羊毛笔向下用 画笔的一边画石头。

Step 44

You can vary the shade by using more or less water. Less water, the darker, more water the lighter the shade.


Step 45

Now comes time to remove the masking fluid. First make sure the picture is absolutely dry before you start this otherwise you will leave marks on the paper as you rub off the masking fluid. Now, here is how you remove the masking fluid – use your finger and rubbing towards the center of the cottage peal off the masking fluid.


Step 46

The reason I say moving towards the center of the cottage is because if the paper happens to tear, as it sometimes can, you won’t then tear a piece up into the sky and thereby damaging your painting.


Step 47

Do the same with the two fence posts.


Step 48

We now have three white areas.


Step 49

Step 50

We can now start to put the roof on our cottage. This is done with the rigger brush using some raw sienna and a little of the burnt umber to create a thatch colour. Start from the top of the roof and work down to the eaves. When you reach the eaves, and while the painting is still wet, with burnt umber on the tip of your rigger brush, go across the eaves from one side to the other, just tipping the brush on the underside. Now once more dry your cottage roof.


Step 51

Then with a little blue and a little light red make up a shadowy colour, almost purple, very light, and paint the portion of your cottage, which is in shadow. This will be the front of it and one side of the chimney. Now leave it to dry.


Step 52

While it is drying carrying on down your page, mix some blue and some brown to give you a good dark colour and paint in your boat.


Step 53

Now put a little shadow under the boat with the same mixture.


Step 54

Next with the rigger paint in the rope from the boat to the land.


Step 55

Step 56

Next come our two fence posts and this time, we first of all make a mixture of burnt umber and raw sienna and paint the left- hand side of each of the posts. Then while they are still wet add in a darker mixture, which is the cobalt blue and burnt umber, the same colour you used for the boat. So you see the light is coming from the right-hand side of the posts as it is hitting the end of the cottage.We need first of all go back to our cottage and put in our door, which is done with light red and the rigger brush.


Step 57

Then into the dark colours add in our windows, they are just two little dabs of paint, using downward strokes Now add in some wire and we are starting to come to the end of this picture.


Step 58

Now we will add in our Rick of turf at the end of our little cottage, which is always customary in Irish cottages. This is made up of burnt umber and a little bit of the cobalt blue to make it a good dark shade using the rigger brush.

Now let’s add in some really dark reeds around the rocks. This is just done with some downward strokes of the goathair brush, making sure that it is absolutely dry or as nearly dry as you can get it, so that it splits.



Step 59

Now all that remains is to put in Joe, the bird, and maybe a couple of pals and then sign it.