the pigeon letters blog
How to Watercolor Vintage Truck

How to Watercolor Vintage Truck

watercolor Nov 19, 2020

Hi everyone! Today we're going to be watercolor painting a vintage truck, which is perfect timing for the holidays. All gourds are welcome, of course! What kind of cargo riding in the truck is completely up to you. I chose an array of gourds to convey the autumnal feeling of my piece. Come along and paint with me this autumn-inspired illustration!  

I’m Jamie and I'm an illustrator and watercolorist. I'm a lover of all things art and all things fall, which is why I'm here today to incorporate both of them! 

Supplies (use what you have!)

 

 

  • Paint: Cadmium Red, Crimson, Lemon Yellow, Prussian Blue
  • Paper: Cold press watercolor paper [140 lbs]
  • Brush: TPL Studio Round 8, 4
  • Jar of water
  • Cloth or paper towels
  • Pencil & eraser

 

 

 

Step 1: Sketch your truck and gourd

 

 

Start by lightly sketching the shapes of the truck and gourds with a pencil. You don't have to copy exactly what I do, it's up to you if you want to take this in a different direction. Use your sketch as a guide for where you'll place the watercolors. 

Prepare your colors! I listed the general colors under the supplies section, but please use whatever you have laying around.  We are using primary colors and will mix them to create new shades!  

  

 

Step 2: Paint your vintage truck

 

I like to start with the largest shapes, the star of the show, our vintage pickup truck! Using your larger brush, paint with your red shades (diluted!) and leave some white space for sparkle. 

For the tires, windows, and fender, mix your blue with a little red to create a neutral-ish grey.  We are tinting the paper so don’t worry if the shapes are not defined yet...that’s actually better!


 

 Step 3: Paint your cargo

 

 

Lucky for us, gourds come in an array of shades! Who's ready to flex their color theory muscles? For the far left pumpkin, mix your yellow and blue to create your green. My green may not look like yours and that’s fine, if anything, it's even better!

For our round pumpkin friend, take your red and mix it with a bit of yellow.  For the last gourd, start with yellow and mix a bit of red. 

For the stalks and crate, mix your red, blue, and yellow to make a brown.  Remember to keep your colors fairly light by mixing more water than paint.  Let everything dry!

  

 

Step 4: Add shadows

 

 

Creating some definition on our truck and gourds will give our illustration some depth. And pow! Using the same colors but with less water and more paint, add areas of dark around the piece. 

For instance, on the round pumpkin guy, paint another layer of orange in spots to help separate the ribs. Add a darker gray to the window edges and wherever you want to create a separation of shapes!

  

 

Step 5: Final details

 

 

 Time to bring it all together with some final darks and details! Feel free to switch to your smaller brush if you’d like, it may be easier to use for small details. Don’t be afraid to add another layer of color if your layers dried lighter than expected. A cool detail I like to paint is the road/ground to anchor the truck! Paint with the same mix as the tires.

Use your creativity and add any other details you’d like! Some ideas would be lettering, people, haystacks, etc! I added some of my fave green buddies!

 

 

 

You did it! Whenever we can come together and engage with our creativity, awesome things happen. Adapt the colors to fit any season, mood, or occasion! Paint it in one go or take it slow and enjoy the process. There are so many ways to create!

 Thank you for painting with me and making some time for creativity. Share your wonderful illustrations on Instagram and don't forget to tag me (@inksnthings), I would love to see what this wonderful community comes up with.

 

 




 

Hi everyone, Jamie Kim here! I think I've made it clear that I love cacti and all plants alike. I guess you can also see that I'm a lover of watercolor and basically all art, I'm not shy about it! Other things I love are anything Murakami, embroidery, gouache, pumpkin butter (because who doesn't?), and did I mention cacti and succulents? I’m truly at my happiest with a brush or pencil in hand. When not holding a pen or sketchbook, I can be heard playing the guitar, uke, and piano! Let’s connect!

 

 

 

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