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DRAWING IDEA - (1) Village Surrounded by a Forest using Watercolor

    To draw a village, first, one must imagine the description & find references according to the scenery which was imagined or can just draw directly from the reference image found. Without the reference’s help, it will become confusing and irritating to draw as we won’t have a solid idea of what the subject for the village that we imagined will look like.

     For me, I wrote a short story-like description for the topic “Village surrounded by Forest” in my notebook with an added touch of the forest being yellow and named it ‘Opal Bourg’. So I started to search for references of different forests, yellow trees in forests and villages on the internet which fitted my imaginary description of the scenery. Then I attached the sheet on the drawing board by using masking tape around the borders of the sheet to get a frame like a professional finish later and started making a light sketch of the landscape, houses, trees in the forest and other small subjects using a pencil. It took me around 20-25 minutes to finalize the sketch, thus finishing my first step.

    After that second step of putting in the light wash of first colour layer started, i.e. I wetted the surfaces of the paper where I wanted to colour first, not the entire paper as it might flow the colours to unwanted portions of the paper. At first it was the sky, then I did the forest, then the ground and at last the water canal where I left few white spaces which will later be seen as reflections of light on water surface. It took around 10-15 mins to dry completely after which it was time to proceed to the next layering.

    In this step, second layer of colour was applied so that we can distinguish between different ground types, trees and shrubs. Then let it dry for few minutes again.

    After drying the previous layer, I started to do mild detailing in which the base for depth, height and perception are made much more distinguishable. Here I introduced different colours to the forest as yellow forests have different shades of yellow, green and red in them. Then lightly coloured the houses and rocks, then put a little more detail in the water canal and let it dry to proceed with the next step. 

    Now in this step, I started medium level detailing with deeper colours. Tree trunks and branches were drawn, houses’ were more detailed with doors, windows and shadows, the surrounding items were drawn, the boulders’ were then detailed more.


    After this, I moved to the final detailing which requires quite a lot of fine strokes. At this stage, mostly size 0 and size 2 brushes were used since the objects closer to us will be more detailed than the ones which are at a further distance. The grass field at the front is also made carefully, more shadows were made, the water in the canal was also coloured to match the surrounding environment. After the final detailing was done, the sky was recoloured as it was looking so faded and thus completing the scenery of “Opal Bourg”. Lastly, I removed the masking tape with care.

 For video time-lapse:

As for the short descriptive story I wrote, you can read it below:

    It was Sunday morning when I first saw the small village called ‘Opal Bourg’ across the small canal which was surrounded by a dense magical forest. Yes, magic exists in this world known as ‘Maarth’ and I am an adventurer plus an artist who can travel between Earth and this world while focusing on my dream and using it as a medium. While traveling around here for a while, I heard a lot about this village from different adventurers and merchants. They would always talk and praise the beauty of Opal Bourg, so it became a must-visit place for me. Thus, here I was standing on a slightly elevated ground filled with grasses which helped me to see the alluring scenery of Opal Bourg. It is said that in clear weather when the sunlight falls on the forest, it gives off a yellowish glow all around the forest and the village which is truly a spectacular thing to see. However it was unfortunate for me as the weather was not clear, it almost felt like it will start raining cats and dogs soon. But still, I had to say that even without the optimal weather condition, the forest was giving a slight glow of yellow, green, and orangish colour and by all means, it was no less beautiful. Since the weather condition was bad and felt like pouring anytime soon, I ran to the village as fast as possible.



     After entering the village, I greeted and asked the locals if there is a place to stay for an adventurer like me, to which they pointed out to different inns located in different areas of the village. After searching for a while I found my desired inn and rented a room in there. Its name was ‘Possum Den’ and was situated close to the forest. After that, I went to my room and took a nap. When I woke up, it was raining heavily so I thought why not have a little chat with the innkeeper who was then tidying up the place. I went to him, greeted and conversed about life in the village for a while, then a few moments later I asked him about the village and its history. To which the innkeeper started to reply with quite the excitement as if he was waiting for someone to ask him and then we went on for hours knowing a lot about the village.

    I came to learn the name of the forest is ‘Opal Woods’ and the village was named after it. He said that the trees around this place glow because they also use magic along with sunlight for the preparation of food and there is a forest guardian who takes care of it, he never saw it himself, but once his great grandfather saw it and described it as a Big Golden Ox like creature but still as elusive as a chameleon. Well, I thought if it is golden in colour then this forest might be the best hiding place. Then I asked him when did his ancestor came to this village, to which he replied proudly and happily, “Since the beginning of this village’s establishment, about three hundred years ago, I know not much old of a village but still among the first generations’ lineage who built it, lots of the building you will see here have been made by my ancestors, they were all skilled carpenters, in truth, I am the one who built this inn.”

    Well after I enjoyed the almost three hours long conversation we thanked each other and he started making dinner for the customers, I also ordered, ate and thanked him for the delicious meal and went back to my room, tidied it up and thought, 'enough for today, got to sleep now' and slipped onto the bed.



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