Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Walk in the Woods ... Step by Step Painting of a Landscape

My reference photo - one of the spots I often pass during walks in the woods.

I had a request from the class I teach to do something very loose and different.  I started this part in class as a demonstration.  I masked out the stream, and did two very wet, sprayed washes with aureolin, alizarin crimson, quin. burnt orange and cobalt blue. I was following Nita Engle's techniques for creating a natural-looking landscape. Her book is called "How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself", and it is full of great techniques that she uses to create very beautiful and natural paintings.

Later, at home, I did this practice run before attempting the splattering technique. 

Ready to go - masked off with old pieces of watercolor paper, mixed colors off to the side.  I used a mix of alizarin and quin. gold, another of gold, alizarin and cobalt to get a subdued green, and a third of the same pigments to make a brown.

This was the effect of the splattering. I then judiciously sprayed with water to encourage the colors to bleed together a bit.

My work space - I had to protect the walls from all the flying paint.

I removed the masking, and this is what it looked like after all the splattering and spraying.

I mixed up a black to paint the trees. Then did a thin wash over the stream with indanthrone mixed with some of the black. Last, I painted the reflections of the trees in the water. I very much like using these techniques - they are not difficult, and really give an extremely natural air to the painting.

Here's Maggie this morning, stopping off for a drink from the pool cover. Somehow, water  always tastes better here than from a bowl.

OK, you Easterners - sorry for this!!! We are having an early Spring. Birds are in full song, along with the tree frogs, and trees and bushes are opening their blossoms. The nights are still cold ... -3C, but the afternoons are glorious and warm. Yes, I have been out there in a t-shirt, and Bruno is not wearing blankets! He is shedding a lot, hair everywhere ... in food, in toothpaste tube???, on my paintings ... can't see a spot where there is no horse hair!!!

Thank you so much for dropping by!