Edo Hannema Watercolour Art

Let the water be your guide

Category: demo Page 1 of 3

Lighthouse on Millford paper

I just love to paint lighthouses, living in a fishing town I could chose which one to paint! I have six in the near neighborhood! but I have my favourites here too!
I am always attracted to the two green ones.
So I decided to get my sketch from the sketchbook, and make a proper watercolor from it.


I want it to have a rough look, with lots of broken edges, so I decided to use Millford paper for this. Due the special sizing you make wonderful washes and broken brushstrokes on this paper.
Colours are my regulars, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt and Raw Sienna, and for the tower a bit of yellow to make green!


First stage

A simple sketch, just to give the lighthouse a place on the right spot.
I blocked in a abstract way a few colors, not really making shapes, only a few shadow sides for the rocks, and the lighthouse. leaving a lot of whites!


Second Stage

After drying I paint the background in with Ultramarine and Burnt sienna, with this I give the tower more shape. its always nice when you do this, than only paint positive shapes!
Also the rocks are painted with these two colours, only a heavier mixture!


Third Stage

After drying again I put on the local colour from the lighthouse and add more shadows to the rocks! the reflections gets a bit of green to, and a few vertical brushstrokes to give it a more reflected look.



Last stage, the details on the tower, and here and there i washed away some colour to make it lighter.
On the right side of the tower I added a light wash of dirty ultramarine to make the lighthouse more coming forward.

Millford paper from St Cuthberts Mill
Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Aurolien Yellow from Rembrandt
Brushes, A variety of squirrel and synthetics.

© Edo Hannema

Take better Photos from your artwork


We know how it is, we have just finished our painting and like to make a good picture for your website, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever.
You look outside and it is a cloudy day, not really the right light to make a photo while the colors you carefully painted are so delicate to you.
What can you do? We usually set our camera on automatic, so it takes the most average photo under the circumstances.
But when you do this, its more then likely the colors from your painting are nothing near your photo if the light isn’t good.
The solution is to go look in your camera, if there is a White Balance modus, usually it says “WB”.
On some cameras you have maybe three choices, and on others you have 20 to choose from.
Mine is a old Canon G3 and I have 9 choices on this one, although the last two are the same.


I set my camera on the P of program, so the sharpness and light measuring is still handled by the camera itself.


And on the back of the display I choose the first WB I take a picture with. Automatic White Balance


My light source is a fluorescent lamp from 55 Watt, almost the same as 275 Watt in normal light.
Its daylight light, and it is 5500 Kelvin. Look between 5000 K and 6500 K if you want a fluorescent lamp.
Under 5000 is is to yellow, over 6500 it is become to blue.
Kelvin explained here.

My fluorescent lamp. The cloth is a diffuser.


Final result is this one, its not 100%, but good enough to posed.


The first picture I take is with the AWB, automatic White Balance. See the red Arrow. I know for sure it is not the right WB, cause it’s the same as the camera on automatic.

automatic white balance

Second photo is with the White Balance on Sunny, also I know the result will be dramatic, cause a fluorescent light is not the sun. Its called a day light lamp. But its really different from the sun. The result is slightly better but no where near perfect. A bit less yellow I would say.

whitebalance sunny

The next photo is with the WB on Cloudy, so when you are outside and there is no sun, this is the modus you make better pictures then on Automatic. But for our indoor situation not good enough! A bit more yellow then the last one. With clouds the overall color outside is bluish. So to compensate the filter is more yellow.

white balance cloudy

Next photo I take I set the WB on light-bulb. This gives a yellow light, the reaction of your camera is to make a sort of blue filter, so that the yellow light will be balanced. I use no light-bulb so the effect is a blue photo! Without knowing how the original looks, this is for a snow-scene not very wrong. Only again no where near the original.

WB Lightbulb

Now we come to the WB fluorescent, that is the right one for my lamp, so I think it is a better choice then the ones before. And indeed the colors are better, the white is whiter. so the WB is better.

WB Fluoriscent

Then we have another fluorescent choice the  Fluorescent High. this choice is for lights with a higher percentage of Kelvin. About 6500K or higher. the fluorescent light gets more blue, so this WB (filter) is slightly more yellow to balance the blue light. The last WB is for me better I know now!

WB Fluorescent High

Why don’t you just use a camera flash? Well, watercolors are very transparent, so the reflection will be high on your photo. You can take a picture on a angle, then you can use a flash. Better use a tripod without flash! Here below with flash. it’s a very pale watercolor now!


We have another WB choice, you can let the camera measure your WB and your light source by doing this! The result is somewhere between the two WB choices from fluorescent light in. I use this one a lot! You are always on the right track with this one!

WB white measurement

I decide to use this one, and work on the lights and so on in windows 10 own photo retouching program.  make it a bit lighter and crop the image.
If you don’t have a photo-program you can try www.pixlr.com


All the photos I took in this tutorial I made with the same light source, just to figure out what is the best way for me to take a photo from my watercolor. I could do this also outside when it is a cloudy day.
If you don’t have a daylight fluorescent lamp like me, try to be as close as you can with the WB. If it is cloudy outside take a picture with the cloud on, or take a WB measurement.
I hope this will help a bit, and I wish you all success to make better photos from your art work.

This is no way near a tutorial for professional photographers, but just for people that want to make a decent photo from the painting they made.

Edo Hannema

Watercolor Demo

I made a watercolor from Bus en Dam Noord Holland.
And also made a movie from it

Have fun hope you like it!


Making Tata Steel

I live near the factory from Tata Steel, its something you see every day, cause it is prominent.
Often what happens with these sort of landmark buildings that you become to see  a more beautiful side from it.
You see it in sunlight, and in rain, or in foggy mysterious light.
The last one appeals me most, and it is the fog that makes watercolors always more magical then other mediums.
With watercolor you have already the right medium to create mist, its wet and humid.
That’s why it is shame you see so much watercolors that are totally missing the water.
The only water some painters use, is to get some color of there watercolor pans.
Or to mix two or more pigments on there palette.
I must say it takes courage to splash a lot of pigment and water on your paper, and also mix
the two or more pigments on the paper itself, but the reward is so much bigger when its succeed.
You come up with a bright and light watercolor, with vibrant colors, in this way even gray colors are transparent!

Now, when it comes to painting a good watercolor, you should, “must” make a sketch on forehand,
I was not a great believer in these kind of methods, and I found it a big waste of time.
But I am now a big fan of making these quick sketches, for color, tone and feel of the painting it is great!

I did have a picture from Tata Steel

Tata Steel Company

Which I made a bit more interesting in Photoshop

But the way to go is make it B&W and invent your own colors.
With a small Robert  A. Wade trick, select the artistic filter Paint Daubs, and select the brush size what appeals you.
I know it is a sort of cheating maybe, but it can help beginning artist to overcome painting everything what is there.
This way you delete all the detail and clutter, and keep what you need for a good watercolor.
Lights and mid tones and darks are perfectly separated.

My first sketch, quick, maybe 10 minutes, with drying from a hairdryer.
Its loose, and I like the colors chosen already.

I tried a bigger one, on watercolor paper this time. I don’t like the result!  Why is it a sketch always looks better?
The factory itself is okay, but it is too Blue, and too orange in the sky. Its a weird blob on the left above corner.
Tried to save it with white gouache, but it is hopeless. In this stage nothing will work.
Consider it as a learning moment, and when you have a few bad ones, the good one is not far away!

Tata Steel first attempt
Well, after a few days, I did have another go, this time I am determined to keep soft edges!
Its more balanced and its softer in tone.
I must say, the salmon colored wash over the top part of the painting were done,
after I painted the first part of the factory, so it pushes the buildings even further away.
I did like the outcome now much more.
And then a unexpected event came on my path.
The Country Estate Beeckestijn did look for painters in the area, that have local art in there collection.
The exhibition would begin on the 24th of  November  and if you liked to participate you must send in
your artwork, that you think it is really local!
Well from 170 contestants they chose my watercolor, together with 100 other artist for this exhibit.

Paper is Bockingford 200Lbs half Imperial (Imperial size is 56×76 Cm)
Colors used are Ultramarine Blue, Raw Sienna, Permanent Rose, Burnt Sienna, White Gouache.

Edo Hannema

Joseph Zbukvic

I saw a photo-shoot from a Taiwanese Facebook friend Jin Li, and I asked her for the use of those pictures,  I give her credit for these photos for sure!
Photo-series from Joseph Zbukvic by Miss Jin Li  金莉  her facebook



Another masterpiece from Joseph Zbukvic.
With so much viewers I would be nervous!
Great job!

Thanks Miss 金莉 from Taiwan


Torre De Belem


John Pike’s Torre De Belem

25 years ago I bought a book from John Pike, and one of the paintings that stood out, was the one from Torre de Belèm.
It was just such a impressing watercolor, the light and the tower itself!
I said to myself, if I ever know how he did this, I give it a try!

So I googled the tower, and chose a photo, that appeared suitable to paint.
I made a simple sketch on forehand, for colors and shadows.
image and sketch
So far so good, the sketch was loose and the colors looked okay.

Next thing to do was the original watercolor, so I decided to take old faithfully Arches, also the paper that Mr. Pike used for decades!
It stays my favorite paper, together with Bockingford.
I have also a lot of Saunders Waterford, but my colors stay pale on this paper, it is simple to use more color, but it is difficult to adjust the amount, when you used to Arches.
In the last movie, Joseph Zbukvic is using Arches for the first time, and on a certain moment he must wash away a whole part of his painting, cause it was way to prominent, he paints on Saunders most of the time! (The Monet water-lilies)
Torre de Belem
The result was clean, and a bit static, but I thought less is more.
But when my wife said, “I don’t think it is a very good one”, I knew I must make a new one. And I already signed the painting!
So this was ready for some experiments, I should do some figures, I never make figures, cause I am bad in making them! The light from the tower must be more dramatic, so I need a darker sky!
And a good shadow on the foreground is always a good idea!

Means you have just one go! Well paper enough, and it is fun to buy new stuff!
The result is here below, I am happy with it!
Okay it is not a masterpiece, but it is much better then the first try!
My own Torre de Belem!
Torre de Belem_two

Regards Edo

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

%d bloggers like this: