A New Year Tradition - from guest blogger Courtney Davis

A New Year Tradition - from guest blogger Courtney Davis

Hi everyone, I’m Courtney with Watercolors By Courtney! I am excited to be an ambassador for The Smiling Hippo and explore the fun uses of Holly’s watercolors with you. 

    Also Happy New Year! With today’s watercolor post, I wanted to incorporate one of my new year’s traditions into the painting. At my house, we open all of the windows so that we can let out the bad luck of the old year, and let in the fresh new year with hope and good energy. (It’s also an excellent way to get fresh air into your house and make it smell good if it’s freshly snowed or rained). I recommend not leaving the windows open too long if you live in a cold area.

    With today’s painting, I sketched out an outline of an open rectangular window with a winter scene in the background in pencil, with a half-circle window on top of the rectangle window. I used a ruler to assist me with getting the lines straight (because straight lines are hard to freehand). I then outlined everything I wanted to appear close in a thick black alcohol pen. I use an alcohol pen because the water and paint won’t smudge the ink if it has alcohol. 

I then added my basic paint colors to the painting, including blues & purples for the mountains; a few different greens, blues, and grays for the pine trees; light orange, light yellow, light pink, then light purple for the sunrise (in that order bottom-up from the mountains) and gray for the walls and the marble countertop. Once I had the basic colors down I used white gouache on top for the snow on top of the mountains and trees.

Now for the fun part, adding The Smiling Hippo glitter paint! While the white gouache adds a fun snow texture to the painting, it doesn’t give it the unique magical look of snow. The first step I did was to use a small tipped paint brush, wet it, and then put the blue/gray glitter (from the circle pallet)paint on the brush. I then put that on top of the dried white gouache on the trees (specifically the top parts on the branches of snow because the top of the snow is always where it’s the prettiest in my opinion). I thinned out the paint so it didn’t appear blocky, but gave it a more magical feel. I repeated this step on all of the branches of snow, and then lightly added it to the snow on the mountains. I also used the light purple from the cactus pallet for some different dimensions for the snow.

I also wanted to add some magic to the sunrise. So I added the gold hera glitter paint, to the bottom part of the sunrise, (near the top of the mountains). I used the same method of applying the paint to the sunrise, using the same technique as I did for the snow (a small wet brush and spread out the paint to create a thin layer). I then used the light pink glitter paint from the cactus pallet over the pink portions of the sunrise. For the windows I wanted a glitter look for the glass to give it that shimmer. So I used the light yellow glitter color from the small circle pallet and put it on top of the window panes, including the half circle window on top of the large rectangle window. 

Once all the paint dried, I then went on top of the painting with a black ink pen, to add some shadows to the trees, and mountains to help make everything pop.

I hope you enjoy these fun techniques with watercolors, and I’d love to see how you painted snow or glass with these amazing colors. I’m excited to share more unique ways to use The Smiling Hippo watercolors!

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Love this!

Tanya Davis

Very pretty!

Breanna Parisher

This is amazing. Well done!

Brenden Davis

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