I broke down this next step into two steps because of the structures. Generally I want to paint through objects as much as possible. This enables me to paint more freely. Trying to paint a wash and stopping at an edge of an object, then continuing the wash on the other side of it restricts my ability to do that.
In this painting, I will be painting around objects, leaving the white of the paper intact. Many artists will use masking fluid, a rubber cement-like substance to protect the white of the paper. I don't like to use masking fluid because I find it difficult to remove without smearing it with color, or destroying the paper.
The goals here are: to create soft edges, to incorporate warmer colors and more intense colors because I will now be working toward the foreground, and to create hard edges in the structures.
There are several ways to soften an edge in watercolor painting:
1. Scrub with a stiff brush. This is dependent on the hardness of the paper you are using. Heavy scrubbing can destroy the paper.
2. Match the value of the edge when painting the next section. This takes a slow and careful wash that will affect the blending of the colors.
3, Over painting–painting past an edge. Because the change of value and color is not extreme, painting one section into another will leave a well-defined but a softened edge.
I want a definite yet soft edge, and softer away from the center of the composition. I painted past the edge of the first wash and carefully painted around the roof of one of the structures and then, while still wet, painted some darker tree shapes near the structure.
While the wash was still wet, I lifted areas behind the trees by using a dry brush to remove some of the color. Near the darker tree mass in the background, using a wet brush, I lifted a path leading to the right background and to soften some of the edges in that area.
The next section will deal with the same issues, painting around several small buildings, scrubbing areas to soften an edge.