How To Paint A Waving Flag

A Simple Approach Makes Easy Work Of A Complex Subject

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Let’s take complex subject and make it easy with simple techniques and a methodical approach. The surface of a waving flag is a collection of moving folds. Getting the folds right will help us feel the movement.

Folds, Light, Shade and Shadow

A waving flag is constantly moving in the wind, making it a difficult subject to paint from observation. Photos help because they stop the action. Even so, to capture the feeling of movement the surface,  and its many folds, must be done well for the visual effect to work.

It’s likely that the surface will have variations in light, shade and shadow along with waves – which are essentially moving folds. In this lesson, we’ll use a process that is a little counter-intuitive to set up the pattern of light and shade before adding details like the stripes.

The drawing for this lesson is complex and needs to be done accurately. Click  the link (above) to download the drawing layout along with the link to download the finished painting for reference.

What You’ll Need:

  • Brushes – Medium and Small Rounds, square-edged and p0inty riggers
  • Palette Colors – Ultramarine Blue, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red Light, Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Paper – A small sheet of watercolor paper, about 11″ x 7″ – As always, Arches 140lb Cold Press is recommended

 

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