How to Paint 5 Golden Rings in Watercolor
Welcome to day five of this watercolor painting challenge (or just a bit of creative fun for xmas!) As you’ve probably guessed the overarching theme is the “12 days of Christmas” and this lesson shows you how to paint a composition of “five golden rings”.
Did you ever find it odd that the song suddenly switches from birds to “golden rings” then back to birds again?
… 4 calling birds
… 5 golden rings
… 6 geese a-laying
It’s been suggested that these golden rings are in fact birds. They could be referring to ring-necked pheasants! Another possibility is that these were originally European goldfinches. The modern version eventually converted these references into 5 golden rings 🙂
If you stumbled upon this lesson in the middle, you might want to check out the beginning of this challenge here.
Ready? Let’s jump in…
Painting 5 golden rings in 4 easy steps
In this composition I thought it would be fun to arrange the 5 rings “in a ring”. I positioned the five rings so they circle each other, creating a larger loop of rings. And like in the previous composition (4 calling birds) I use size to suggest some depth – the front rings are larger than the ones at the back to imply distance.
Here’s the link to the worksheet and printable sketch outline for this painting:
Try this painting for yourself ! Click the button below to download the worksheet for this painting.
And the full list of paints I used for this watercolor are as follows:
- Hansa Yellow Deep – Pigment number: PY65
- Quinacridone rose – Pigment number: PV19
- Paynes gray – Pigment number: Pb29/PBk9
To receive daily email reminders for this painting challenge (starting with day #1), you can sign up below:
Finally, I’ve created a special category for these tutorials which you can view here. This will provide an overview of the whole challenge.
As usual, print out the sketch outline then transfer the drawing to a sheet of watercolor paper.
Now paint the ring shapes using a warm yellow paint color (hansa yellow deep in my case).
Notice that I left thin white highlights on the upper facing edges of the rings. Shiny objects have bright, well-defined highlights. These sparks of white paper help suggest the sheen and reflective qualities of gold. I also left a highlight on the outer facing sides of the rings.
Paint the word “FIVE” in gray, again leaving a few white highlights.
When the first layer of paint has completely dried, use a glazing technique to paint the inner band of the rings. Painting the inner surface of the rings this way will darken the tonal values and suggest shading, improving the 3-dimensional effect of the composition.
Note that I painted these surfaces using a graduated wash. The paint is applied in a darker mix to the left and progresses towards a lighter more diluted mix on the right. Again this variation in color intensity helps the suggestion of three dimensions.
Be careful not to paint over the white highlights!
The last details include the words “golden rings” underneath and an array of sparkles !
I painted these radiating lines in bright pink. Like this, the colors in the finished composition contrast and produce a bright, lively overall appearance (the color harmony is complementary).
I hope you had fun!
Let me know if you’re enjoying these challenges in the comments below 🙂