It’s not every day you get to paint an idyllic vineyard wedding venue in watercolor and ink as a matching set! I pretty much swooned as soon as I heard the words ‘neutral sage greens’ and got a peek at the reference photos.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, my client commissioned this beautiful set featuring two scenes from their wedding venue. I just love the idea and might copy it for myself! (Matt and I will celebrate 10 years in 2022!)

The biggest feature of this arbor is the depth of the vines twisted about. I realized it was going to be too overwhelming to tackle with paint first since both shapes and colors were working together to build this depth. Instead, I focused on outlines first to get my shapes in order – detail in the foreground and the bunches of leaves in the background. Once I got the ink set I could bring in my color and focus on the way the light danced around and created depth.

Before even starting on this first piece though, I did focus just on color. I maybe used this commission as an excuse to buy and try a few more greens…Good thing because I ended up settling on oxide of chromium from Windsor & Newton watercolors for my green. Here are the leaders of my final palette!

In addition to those four main colors, I used some naples yellow and yellow orchre to tone my green a bit and brought paynes grey in for some shadows. (All Windsor & Newton Professional Watercolors)

My mixing chart for figuring out just the right green might have gotten a bit out of control…pictured above is one of my TWO full sketchbook pages filled with green/yellow watercolor mixing charts!

After finishing up the arbor, I started painting number two without skipping a beat. This scene included the winery in the background and had a terrific view down the vineyard.

Making this matching pair was such a joy. I had lots of fun creating a cohesive palette and painting such luscious romantic views. Seeing the two paintings side by side was incredibly satisfying!

Full Background Illustration (ragged edge), 8×10″
Paper: Arches cold-press watercolor paper
Paint: Winsor & Newton Professional, Daniel Smith Artist, Ruby Mountain Paint Co.